Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English novelist known for her six major novels, which interpret and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security, her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have long earned her acclaim among critics and popular audiences alike. With the publications of Sense and Sensibility and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma, she achieved success as a published writer, she wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, began another titled Sanditon, but died before its completion. She left behind three volumes of juvenile writings in manuscript, a short epistolary novel Lady Susan, another unfinished novel, The Watsons.

Her six full-length novels have been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her moderate success and little fame during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, sold as a set, they gained wider acclaim and popular readership. In 1869, fifty-two years after her death, her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced a compelling version of her writing career and uneventful life to an eager audience. Austen has inspired literary anthologies, her novels have inspired many films, from 1940's Pride and Prejudice to more recent productions like Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Pride & Prejudice, Love & Friendship, Emma.. There is little biographical information about Jane Austen's life except the few letters that survive and the biographical notes her family members wrote. During her lifetime, Austen may have written as many as 3,000 letters.

Many of the letters were written to Austen's older sister Cassandra, who in 1843 burned the greater part of them and cut pieces out of those she kept. Ostensibly, Cassandra destroyed or censored her sister's letters to prevent their falling into the hands of relatives and ensuring that "younger nieces did not read any of Jane Austen's sometimes acid or forthright comments on neighbours or family members". Cassandra believed that in the interest of tact and Jane's penchant for forthrightness, these details should be destroyed; the paucity of record of Austen's life leaves modern biographers little with. The situation was compounded as successive generations of the family expunged and sanitised the opaque details of Austen's biography; the heirs of Jane's brother, Admiral Francis Austen, destroyed more letters. The legend the family and relatives created reflects their biases in favour of "good quiet Aunt Jane", portraying a woman whose domestic situation was happy and whose family was the mainstay of her life.

Austen scholar Jan Fergus explains that modern biographies tend to include details excised from the letters and family biographical materials, but that the challenge is to avoid the polarising view that Austen experienced periods of deep unhappiness and was "an embittered, disappointed woman trapped in a unpleasant family". Jane Austen was born in Steventon, Hampshire, on 16 December 1775, she was born a month than her parents expected. He added that her arrival was welcome as "a future companion to her sister"; the winter of 1776 was harsh and it was not until 5 April that she was baptised at the local church with the single name Jane. For much of Jane's life, her father, George Austen, served as the rector of the Anglican parishes at Steventon and at nearby Deane, he came from an old and wealthy family of wool merchants. Over the centuries as each generation of eldest sons received inheritances, their wealth was consolidated, George's branch of the family fell into poverty, he and his two sisters had to be taken in by relatives.

His sister Philadelphia went to India to find a husband and George entered St John's College, Oxford on a fellowship, where he most met Cassandra Leigh. She came from the prominent Leigh family, her eldest brother James inherited a fortune and large estate from his great-aunt Perrot, with the only condition that he change his name to Leigh-Perrot. George and Cassandra exchanged miniatures in 1763 and were engaged around that time. George received the living for the Steventon parish from the wealthy husband of his second cousin, Thomas Knight, who owned Steventon and its associated farms, one of which the Austen family rented to live in. Two months after Cassandra's father died, they married on 26 April 1764 at St Swithin's Church in Bath, by licence, in a simple ceremony, they left for Hampshire the same day. Their income was modest, with George's small per annum living.

Mariana Koskull

Henrietta Mariana "Marianne" Charlotta Koskull was a Swedish noble and lady-in-waiting, known as the royal mistress of King Charles XIII of Sweden and King Charles XIV John of Sweden. Mariana, or Marianne as she was called at the French-influenced court, was born to Baron Gustaf Fredrik Koskull and Anna Charlotta Gjelstrup. Although the family belonged to the nobility, they were poor, illustrated by the fact that her sister Constance Koskull was forced to break her engagement to marry Christian Fredrik Damm, with whom she was in love, marry the rich merchant John Hall the Younger for money instead, her father said to her: "Are you so stupid my Stansa!? Keep loving your Fredrik, but marry Hall – one does not prevent the other! We shall soon be reduced to beggary if you refuse Hall."Mariana Koskull was given a good education and, thanks to her rank, was appointed hovfröken to queen Charlotte, thus acquiring one of few professions acceptable for a noblewoman. She became a social success at court, where she was admired for her musicality and her talent as an actress.

She was a good harp player, played the main part in the amateur theatre at court at special occasions and festivities, during which she was described as having as much talent as a professional actress. On 28 January 1811, Koskull participated to great acclaim in an amateur performance of The Barber of Seville, given by members of the nobility at the Royal Palace in honor of the king's name day and the arrival of the crown princess, during which she played the role of Rosina opposite Baron Gustaf Löwenhielm as Bartholo, Count Axel Mörner as Bazile, Count Carl Löwenhielm as Figaro and Count Gustaf Adolf Sparre as Alzade, followed by a ballet performed by members of the court nobility. Koskull was pointed out and known as the mistress of King Charles XIII as well as the mistress to his adopted successor, King Charles XIV John. Koskull and Charles John were said to have had a secret child together. After the succession of Charles XIII in 1809, Koskull was talked about as the mistress of the king.

Queen Charlotte, brushed this aside with the comment that the king may have been infatuated with Koskull but was too decrepit to do anything about it. In parallel to being talked about as the lover of Charles XIII, Mariana Koskull was pointed out as the lover of the king's adopted son and heir, Crown Prince Charles John, who arrived in Sweden in 1810; the affair started after Charles John's wife Désirée Clary left Sweden for France in 1811, after the crown prince had first unsuccessfully courted Koskull's cousin Aurora Wilhelmina Brahe. The affair was evidently hidden for four years before being exposed, as Queen Charlotte commented in her famous journal that Koskull and Charles John had begun the affair the year of the departure of the crown princess to Paris in 1811, but that it was not exposed until the spring of 1815, when she the queen herself became certain of it. In June 1815, Queen Charlotte summarized the relationship between Mariana Koskull, Charles XIII, Crown Prince and Prince Oscar in her journal: "Marianne Koskull are not a true beauty but looks quite good, are thoughtless, wish only to amuse herself and are spoiled by having been admired.

She is of a good heart but offends people by sheer thoughtlessness. The King was pleased by Marianne made jokes with her and, despite his advance age, acted as her lover without being able to be one; this lady is lively and quite educated. She has the great quality of showing goodness to her family and takes care of the welfare of her siblings, she lacks discipline and has the grave fault of being utterly calculating. Although the Crown Prince has become enchanted by her, she should rather think about entering a suitable marriage than to be in his favor. While I cannot guarantee the truth of it, she is said to be his mistress, he wanted to keep this a secret and show all outwardly modesty, but Miss Koskull was so flattered to be in his favor that she was bragging about it, flaunting magnificent jewelry of such value that they could only have come from the Crown Prince. In any event, she was viewed as his favorite. Prince Oscar met her at his father's and begun to court her, which at one occasion caused his governor baron Cederhjelm to say, after Marianne had flirted with the Prince for quite a while:'For God's sake Milady, spare the third generation, you are corrupting them all at once.'

A crushing remark, when you consider the decrepit state of the King and the fact that Prince Oscar is so young that he could enjoy the pleasures of love as yet. Cederhjelm is a wit, known for his ingenious and somewhat mean remarks, why his comment could hardly be surprising."In 1816, when the crown princess was rumored to be returning to Sweden, the Queen remarked that the crown prince did not wish her return because of his relationship with Koskull. During Koskull's parallel affair with the king and the crown prince, Mariana Koskull had a painting placed in one of the salons of the king with two images on each side, used to signal to the crown prince. One side of the painting showed Koskull painted as one of the muses, the other side showed an image of a fortune teller; when the painting was turned with the image of the fortune teller visible, it was a sign to the crown prince that that day was her day with the king. Mariana Koskull used her influence with both Charles XIII and Charles John (who was

Joseph Cowen

Joseph Cowen, Jr. was an English radical Liberal politician and journalist. He was a firm friend to Anglo-Jewry, an early advocate of Jewish emancipation contributing to the Jewish Chronicle; the son of Sir Joseph Cowen, a prominent citizen and Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne from 1874 to 1886, was born at Stella Hall, Blaydon. Cowen junior was educated in Ryton and at the University of Edinburghwhere he interested himself in European revolutionary movements. Cowen joined his father in his Blaydon brick business, smuggling documents abroad in the consignments of bricks. Cowen numbered among his friends Mazzini, Louis Blanc and Ledru-Rollin, as well as Herzen and Bakunin. Garibaldi, Felice Orsini and Lajos Kossuth came to visit him in Blaydon, he improved the lot of the working-classes. One area of improvement revisited again by Cowen was education: changes to the Mechanics Working-men institute, was followed by a public library for Newcastle. In 1874, he was elected Member of Parliament, succeeding his father, who had held the Newcastle seat as a Liberal since 1865.

Joseph Cowen was at that time a strong Radical on domestic questions. He was a sympathizer with Irish Nationalism, one who in speech and manner identified himself with the North East mining class. According to Dilke he spoke with a distinctive Tyneside burr. On 13 July 1876, he joined John Bright in introducing Joseph Chamberlain into the Commons as the new MP for Birmingham. Short in stature and uncouth in appearance, his individuality first shocked and by its earnestness impressed the House of Commons, he was, moreover, an Imperialist and a Colonial Federationist at a time when Liberalism was tied and bound to the Manchester traditions. His independence brought him into collision both with the Liberal parliamentary party and with the party organization in Newcastle itself, but Cowen's personal popularity and his remarkable powers as an orator triumphed in his own birthplace, he was again elected in 1885. Shortly afterwards, the'Blaydon Brick' retired both from parliament and from public life in 1886, professing his disgust at the party intrigues of politics, devoted himself to conducting his newspaper, the Newcastle Daily Chronicle, to his private business.

In this capacity he exercised a wide influence on local opinion, the revolt of the Newcastle electorate in years against "doctrinaire Radicalism" was due to his constant preaching of a broader outlook on national affairs. He served as President of the first day of the 1873 Co-operative Congress. Behind the scenes he continued to play a powerful part in forming North-country opinion until his death. A fine bronze statue of Cowen stands in Westgate Road in Newcastle, his letters were published by his daughter in 1909. Allen, Joan. Joseph Cowen and Popular Radicalism on Tyneside 1829–1900. Waitt, E. I.. John Morley, Joseph Cowen and Robert Spence Watson: Liberal divisions in Newcastle Politics, 1873-1895. Unpublished to University of Manchester, PhD Thesis. Copies in Manchester University, Newcastle Central and Gateshead libraries. Jones, Evan Rowland; the Life and Speeches of Joseph Cowen M. P. London. Fynes, Richard. Miners of Northumberland and Durham. Newcastle upon Tyne. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Joseph Cowen Joseph Cowen's pamphlet collection at JSTOR Catalogue entry to the Joseph Cowen papers at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Joseph Cowen: Geordie Entrepreneur and Radical