Austen · Historical · NovElla

Jane Austen’s Birthday 2020

Jane Austen’s 245th birthday!

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

Austen Portrait

December 16, 1775 – July 18, 1817
Picture source:

The famous author of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and other novels, December 16, 2020 marks Jane Austen’s 245th birthday! Although the above portrait has not been officially authenticated as Jane Austen herself, there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is most likely her.


This has been the year of staying at home, and no one isolates better than certain characters in Emma.

“A man,” said he [Mr. John Knightley], “must have a very good opinion of himself when he asks people to leave their own fireside, and encounter such a day as this, for the sake of coming to see him… —The folly of not allowing people to be comfortable at home—and the folly of people’s not staying comfortably at home when they can! – Jane Austen, Emma


Need some pre-recorded entertainment for all that alone time? Look no further than Theater Guild on the Air’s “Pride and Prejudice”, the 1945 radio play starring Joan Fontaine.

Source: Theater Guild on the Air

Heavy on comedy, this isn’t quite Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but at Thanksgiving 1945, this post-WWII radio drama can be forgiven for adding in some jokes. Complete with the original U.S. Steel commercials, this recording is part of the history of Jane Austen’s fame.

6 thoughts on “Jane Austen’s Birthday 2020

  1. Dunford’s team scored a coup when they landed Dame Emma Thompson, noted Janeite, as keynote reader for ” The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Jane Austen Special ,” during which participating Janeites will hear new recordings of Thompson reciting Christmas-appropriate excerpts from the novels. There will also be music, games and puzzles, as Janeites gather virtually to celebrate the novelist in a cozy Christmas atmosphere. (With the exception of the guided 360-degree tours and the Austen birthday party, all of these events are free.) Though the house closed again on November 5 amid the U.K.’s second lockdown, these online resources continue to offer Janeites around the world plentiful access to objects and activities from Austen’s life, and equally important access to each other, in a collective fandom that has thrived virtually long before Covid.

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