"Give a girl an education, and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without farther expense to any body."—Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814)
British novelist Jane Austen was born on this date in 1775 in Steventon, England. Her own formal education consisted of boarding school, supplemented more effectively by her father’s 500-book library. From this, and the sharp observational skills she developed from her travels, she completed a half-dozen novels -- often featuring a smart heroine, making her way through the minefield of courtship--that have made more than a few men marvel over the years.
(The image accompanying this post comes from the marvelous 1999 film adaptation of Mansfield Park starring the equally wonderful Frances O’Connor, pictured here with Jonny Lee Miller.)