12 novels of Jane Austen that guarantee to provide you ecstatic reading experience

List of Jane Austen novels in order

If you’re an aspiring writer then you can make writing come to you if you are ready to take inspiration from some of the best authors in the world.

You should pay equal attention to modern literature as well as literature that is centuries old but has turned into a timeless one.

Only a few authors could do the magic of creating timeless novels whose popularity remained unperturbed across the centuries.

Jane Austen is one example of the species of gifted authors I am talking about.

If you’re an avid reader looking forward to exploring the romance genre then I suggest you buy novels of Jane Austen.

The novels of Jane Austen are phenomenal.

Her novels highlight the complexities involved in relationships, disliking turning into liking, the role of marriage in the life of women in English societies set in the period of the late 18th century and the early 19th century.

A list of Jane Austen’s novels in order is what you will find in this article.

This article will also tell you explicitly about the best books by Jane Austen.

How many novels did Jane Austen complete? Which are the unfinished novels of Jane Austen? What are Jane Austen’s most famous books? The article is going to give answers to such questions.

So, get ready to enjoy knowing the works of Jane Austen but before that, you should know who the author Jane Austen was.

Biography of Jane Austen

Although the article is on the novels of Jane Austen, if I don’t give you a brief biography about Jane Austen to read, then it will be unfair.

To start with I would say that Jane Austen was one great English novelists, one of the best female authors of all time.

She was born in 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire (England). Austen was the second girl in her family comprising of six brothers and one other sister.

Her father George Austen was not financially strong. He trained and prepared kids for admission to Oxford University, maybe this is why he encouraged his children to keep learning.

One question which is common in the community of readers is did Jane Austen ever marry? The irony is that Jane Austen never married considering her novels revolve around the theme of love and marriage.

Austen’s novels portrayed women as the protagonists, they explored the role of marriage in the life of women, a means to achieve a comfortable home and financial security.

She drove inspiration from her village Steventon, also from the towns and the cities she explored while visiting her relatives, in creating the setting in her novels.

The novels of Jane Austen featured families of British landowners. She also featured the social ambiance as well as the mindset that prevailed in the late 18th century.

The first four famous novels of Jane Austen established her as a domestic writer but they brought her moderate success.

Her talent started getting the recognition, it deserved, years later after her death which eventually made her novels timeless classics.

A few of Jane Austen’s siblings played vital roles in her literary efforts. While her elder sister was possessive about her; her brother Henry made sure that her last two novels get published after she passed away.

In the biography of Jane Austen, I find it fair to mention a short account of each of the Jane Austen siblings -

"A Family of [Eight] children will always be called a fine family, where there are head and arms and legs enough for the number. "
-Jane Austen

Cassandra Elizabeth (1773–1845)

Cassandra was the elder sister of Jane Austen. Since she was the only sister Jane had among 6 brothers, she always shared a close bond with her.

Jane wrote many letters to Cassandra. The historians have been able to gather the details of Jane Austen’s life by perusing more than a hundred of these letters.

Cassandra was into the arts. Scholars believe that she painted her sister twice. One of the sketches can be found in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Like Jane, Cassandra never married.

James (1765–1819)

James Austen went to Oxford University at the age of 14. He coedited sixty issues of a magazine called ‘The Loiterer’. Jane Austen referred to James as good and clever.

James lost his first wife when their daughter was a toddler. He married the second time, had two children James Edward and Caroline who were also into literature. In fact, James Edward wrote ‘A memoir of Jane Austen’ published after 52 years of Jane Austen’s death.

George (1766–1838)

George lived separately with a farming family for most of his life. Speculation is that he was deaf; some scholars believe that he suffered from intellectual disability.

Edward Knight(1768–1852)

Edward was adopted in the early 1780s by Thomas and Catherine Knight.

He didn’t go to the university but was sent on a tour of Europe.

Later he inherited their estate and also the surname Knight.

Henry Thomas (1771–1850)

Henry Thomas was the most favorite brother of Jane Austen. He is described to be an optimist who also helped Jane in her literary efforts.

In fact, Henry took care of publishing the novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey after her sister’s death. Henry first chose the military, then he turned into a London-based banker and after the death of his wife he went on to become a clergyman.

Francis William (1774–1865)

Francis always shared a warm relationship with Jane.

Francis joined the Navy at the tender age of 12 and went on to become the admiral.

Jane Austen has taken inspiration from her brother Francis for many of her characters in novels such as Mansfield Park and Persuasion.

Charles John (1779–1852)

Charles was the youngest brother of Jane Austen, and one of her favorites too.

Charles also joined the navy at the age of 12 and went on to become a rear-admiral.

While he was posted in Jamaica, he actively fought against the Atlantic slave trade, busting a few ships carrying slaves to the United States and other neighboring countries.

Charles died of cholera while leading a British fleet during the second Burma war at the age of 73.

How many books has Jane Austen written?

Jane Austen has written close to 12 books.

She started writing as a child. She wrote stories, plays, verses, and many other literary forms categorized into 3 volumes known as Juvenilia stories.

As a teenager, she also wrote a short novel ‘Lady Susan’ which could not be published until 1871.

Four novels - Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice(1813), Mansfield Park(1814), and Emma(1816) - were published while she was alive.

Two novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published in the same year as her death in 1817.

The first novel of Jane Austen is referred to as ‘Sense and Sensibility’ but ‘Lady Susan’ was the first novel she wrote.

The 6 novels of Jane Austen (Sense and sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey) happen to be the best novels of Jane Austen.

These six novels of Jane Austen are considered the best books on English middle-class society, its mindset, the dependency of women on marriage for future security during the late 18th century.

Austen also left unfinished two novels - Sandition and The Watsons.

You will know more about these two unfinished works of Jane Austen later in the blog.

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility was the first published novel of Jane Austen. The novel was published in 1811 but it didn’t have Austen’s name on the cover.

The novel simply mentioned ‘A lady’ in place of the author’s name which implies that it was published anonymously.

A saga of love and heartbreak, Sense and Sensibility is about two sisters Elinar Dashwood and Marianne Dashwood, who had to move out of their estate when it was inherited by their half-brother John.

The title of the novel reveals the personalities of the characters.

Sense is about more involvement of the mind that relates to contemplation before making decisions, wisdom, sound judgment.

Sensibility is more about the heart that involves being emotional and sensitive.

Elinar is all about sense and Marianne is about ‘sensitivity.

Both fall in love and over time they realize that sense and sensibility must go hand-in-hand to achieve the happiness they desire in a time when money gives a tight competition to true love.

Few people know that Jane Austen wrote this article in epistolary form.

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Pride and Prejudice

Published in 1813, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has found its place in the most-loved books of all time.

If it has happened to you initially that you didn’t like someone then gradually you fall in love with them then certainly the story will resonate with you.

‘And they lived happily ever after’ truly justifies the ending of the novel. I just want to make it clear that the novel doesn’t end in tragedy.

All I can write about Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice is that it is a cult classic of English literature. The novel has seen a sale of more than 20 million copies.

Several films and series have been made with this novel’s story as their plot.

I believe that this article would not be complete if I don’t give you to read the summary of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen summary

‘Pride and Prejudice’ is centered around the Bennet family. The main lady Mrs. Bennet is blessed with 5 beautiful daughters. All her daughters are different.

Mrs. Bennet’s only agenda is to get all her daughters married as the estate of Bennet’s family would be inherited by Mr. Bennet’s distant cousin, William Collins in the event of Mr. Bennet’s death.

Charles Bingley, a rich and eligible bachelor arrives in the neighborhood.

The whole neighborhood attends a ball where Charles Bingley sees Jane Bennet, the eldest daughter of the Bennets, and develops a liking for her.

The ball is also attended by Mr. Darcy, a friend of Bingley who is believed to be twice as wealthier as Charles Bingley.

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Because Mr. Darcy is snobbish, the interaction between him and Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of the novel and the second eldest daughter of the Bennets, doesn’t go in the right direction when he declines to dance with her.

William Collins visits the Bennets. He is a pompous man interested in marrying any one of Bennet’s daughters but when he finds about Jane’s affair with Mr. Bingley, he proposes to marry Elizabeth.

Elizabeth declines Collins’ interest to marry which makes her mother angry and her father relieved. However, a friend of Elizabeth Charlotte Lucas accepts the proposal of William Collins on the promise of a comfortable life.

Mr. Darcy has also started developing feelings for Elizabeth but she remains unaware of his feelings.

Elizabeth meets George Wickham, a military officer, and son of Darcy’s late father’s steward, who tells her that Mr. Darcy has withheld his support of providing him a position as a cleric with good revenue.

After this Elizabeth starts disliking Mr. Darcy more.

During this time, Bingleys surprisingly move to London with no intention of returning.

Elizabeth learns during her visit to Rosings park from a cousin of Mr. Darcy that Mr. Darcy is the reason for the break up of Charles Bingley and Jane Bennett.

Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth and she brutally declines his proposal accusing him of her sister’s unhappiness. She also blames him for the trouble he caused to Mr. Wickham.

Mr. Darcy later writes a letter to Elizabeth explaining to her that Wickham spent all the money that Mr. Darcy’s father gave him and is now asking for a living again. Wickham also tried to elope with Mr. Darcy’s 15-year-old sister to gain money in the form of dowry.

He also tells her in the same letter that he separated Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet because Jane did not reciprocate the same feelings.

The story takes turn when Elizabeth learns of her younger sister Lydia’s eloping with Wickham of which she informs Mr. Darcy. She also believes that Lydia has ruined the name of the Bennet family.

After a while, Lydia visits her family informing them that Wickham and she have married with Mr. Darcy present at the wedding. Elizabeth learns that Mr. Darcy has been the reason behind the marriage of her sister despite his motive of keeping his involvement a secret.

Mr. Darcy also encourages the patch-up of Mr. Bingley and Jane. Mr. Bingley proposes to Jane which she accepts. The gracious efforts of Mr. Darcy in fixing the displeasing circumstances of the Bennet family develop affection in Elizabeth for him and she finally accepts his proposal.

Elizabeth convinces her father that she is marrying Mr. Darcy for love, not money.

The novel gets a happy ending with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet satisfied seeing their two daughters marrying the right grooms.

Don’t you feel intrigued about buying and reading this amazing novel after reading its summary?

Well, you will develop more affection towards ‘Pride and Prejudice’ when you will read a few fabulous quotes from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

“Angry people are not always wise.”

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

“What are men to rocks and mountains?”

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

“Till this moment I never knew myself.”

“He is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman's daughter. So far we are equal.”

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”

“A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.It is something to think of”

“The distance is nothing when one has a motive.”

“Do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last”

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

“for he is such a disagreeable man, that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him.”

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park was published in 1814. This novel is considered as the most controversial novel of Jane Austen because most of the characters in this novel are selfish and take decisions in favor of themselves.

Mansfield Park is full of errors in judgment of its main characters; if you’re impulsive and feel that your relationship is complicated then you can take several lessons from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

The main character of Mansfield Park is Fanny Price. She is sent to live with her aunt Mirs. Bertram and uncle Sir Thomas Bertram at the age of 10 where she initially faces mistreatment by Bertram’s children except one.

She is also not treated well by her other Aunt Mrs. Norris as well. Things take a turn when she grows a little older and siblings Henry and Mary Crawford come to live in Mansfield Park.


Emma was published in 1815 and it remains to be the last of the 4 novels published while Jane Austen was alive.

The novel is about a young girl Emma who believes that she has extraordinary match-making skills.

Her overconfidence leads to twists and turns in the story when she tries to force her friend to get into a relationship with someone else while making her reject the boy who her friend indeed loves.

Like Pride and Prejudice, Emma has been adapted as the story of several films and television series.

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Summary of Emma by Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist of the novel believes she has extraordinary matchmaking skills. She realizes it after introducing her governess Miss Taylor to widowed Mr. Weston. They both get married.

Emma ventures ahead determined to make another match despite being warned by both her father and her sister’s brother-in-law Mr. Knightley.

She tries to set up her new 17-year-old friend Harriet with the vicar of the village, Mr. Elton.

However, Harriet has feelings for Robert Martin, a 24-year-old young amicable farmer but Emma convinces Harriet that Robert doesn’t match up to her status. When Robert proposes to Harriet she says no.

With Robert Martin out of the way, Emma makes efforts to make stronger the relationship between Mr. Elton and Harriet. They both start spending time only to be revealed on Christmas eve by Mr. Elton that he is in love with Emma.

He had been spending time with Harriet only to stay closer to Emma. After being rejected by Emma, Mr. Elton goes to the city Bath and marries Augusta Elton.

When Emma informs Harriet about the marriage of Mr. Elton then Harriet feels shattered.

The plot then sees the arrival of two characters Frank Churchill, the son of Mr. Weston and Jane Fairfax, an orphan who visits her aunt Miss Bates and grandmother, Mrs. Bates.

Emma envies Jane as she has a talent for singing and playing the piano. Also, Mr. Knightley praises Jane.

Emma starts developing affection towards Frank but her affection abates soon.

The Eltons try to humiliate Harriet in a ball but Mr. Knightley saves her from the embarrassment by asking her to dance with him.

Emma mistakes that Harriet and Frank are getting close while Mr. Knightley hints that something is going on between Jane and Frank which Emma dismisses as she feels Frank is attracted towards her as he often flirts with her.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Weston tells Emma that Mr. Knightley is in love with her, but Emma also rules it out.

Emma impresses Mr. Knightley when she asks for forgiveness from Miss Bates for insulting her on Fox Hill.

Things take a turn when after the death of his aunt, Frank reveals to the Westons that he and Jane had been engaged all along. They kept it a secret because Frank thought that his aunt wouldn’t approve of his relationship with Jane.

However, his uncle approves his match with Jane and their engagement is then announced.

Emma discovers that Frank’s flirtation with her was fake. She worries about Harriet who reveals that she is in love with Mr. Knightley.

Emma then realizes that she herself is in love with Mr. Knightley who comes to console her as Mr. Knightley thinks that she would be heartbroken on hearing about Frank and Jane’s engagement.

Emma admits that she was never in love with Frank after which Mr. Knightley proposes to Emma which she accepts. When Robert Martin proposes to Harriet again she accepts it and thus, the novel ends in a happy ending with all three couples getting married.

The quotes from Emma by Jane Austen are worth reading and are capable of giving you a pleasant sensation that you feel when you’re in love.

“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.”

“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control. ”

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

“You must be the best judge of your own happiness.”

“She was one of those, who, having, once begun, would be always in love.”

“Mr. Knightley, if I have not spoken, it is because I am afraid I will awaken myself from this dream.”

“Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.”

“Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.”

“Without music, life would be a blank to me.”


Persuasion was published in 1817, six months after Austen’s death.

Persuasion is the love saga of Frederick Wentworth, a navy captain, and Anne Elliot.

Anne was engaged to Frederick but then broke her engagement off when she was incited to do the same by her godmother Lady Russell.

The Elliots became financially loose and they sublet their home to a navy admiral. Surprisingly, Frederick appears back in the story as he is the brother of the admiral’s wife.

Anne and Frederick meet again after seven years, and the question of whether they will marry this time looms.

Jane Austen took the inspiration for Frederick Wentworth from her brother Charles Austen, who himself served in the navy.

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is a novel that has a plot containing love and marriage but also horror given to you in a satirical way.

Northanger Abbey was also published after Austen’s death in 1817.

The novel features the female protagonist Catherine Morland who falls in love with Henry Tilney during her visit to a friend in Bath.

Henry Tilney invites Catherine to visit her family home, Northanger Abbey. Once Catherine visits Northanger Abbey, mysterious events start taking place.

Austen finished writing this novel in 1803, she initially titled it Susan and sold it to a London publisher who kept the manuscript but didn’t publish it.

Jane’s brother Henry bought it back from the publisher in 1816.

This is when Jane rewrote some portions and changed the title to Catherine.

After her death, Jane’s brother made it ready for publishing and gave it the title Northanger Abbey.

Lady Susan

Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel believed to be written in 1794 by Jane Austen but published in 1871.

The novel is about a recently widowed adulteress Lady Susan who doesn’t hesitate in getting involved with married men and even with men younger than her.

She moves to live with her brother where she is resented by her sister-in-law as she makes her younger brother Reginald fall to her charms.

Lady Susan also wants her daughter Frederica to marry a rich man whom Frederica hates which is why she runs away.

Frederica thus meets Reginald and gets attracted to her.

The story gets exciting when the man who wanted to marry Frederica reappears in the story.

Juvenillia Stories

While Jane Austen was not even a teenager she started writing for herself and her family’s enjoyment.

Her childhood works written in the forms of stories, verses, moral fragments are found in three notebooks named Volume the first, Volume the second, and Volume the third.

Most of these works of Jane Austen are parodies of her observations from her daily life.

Scholars who studied Jane Austen’s works and letters believe that she wrote Volume the first when she was 11 or 12 and probably continued writing till the year 1793.

Jane Austen wrote Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice’s initial script little after she finished writing Juvenilia hence, you will find traces of her Juvenilia stories in these novels.

These are Jane Austen’s novels in order of their publishing year.

A couple of novels by Jane Austen remained unpublished. Let’s know about them now.

What was Jane Austen’s unfinished novel?


Sandition is the last unfinished novel of Jane Austen which unfortunately will never ever be completed. You can say that Sandition is the last novel of Jane Austen.

Austen started writing Sandition in January 1817 after more than a year of being sick.

She could complete 11 chapters and only 9 pages of the 12th chapter before abandoning it in March of the same year due to her intensifying illness.

4 months later she bid adieu to the world at the age of 41.

Sandition first came to the public eye in the year 1871 in a biography of Jane Austen written by her nephew.

Since then several authors have tried to finish this novel in their own way but how Austen herself would have finished it is a question that will never be answered but only speculated.

Because matching the standards of Austen is a big deal.

Set in a fictional coastal tourist trap, Sandition is seen through the eyes of Charlotte Heywood.

The novel begins with the carriage accident of Mr. and Mrs. Parker in which Mr Parker gets injured and thus he and his wife spend 15 days at the home of Heywoods.

Mr. Parker invites Charlotte who is the eldest daughter of the Heywoods to Sandition as a guest.

After that, the story unfolds with the arrival of different characters such as Lady Denham, her niece Clara Brereton.

The story of Sandition takes off brilliantly and indeed differently than Austen’s other novels only to end halfway at Charlotte’s visit to Lady Denham’s residence.

Sandition had all the characteristics of becoming one of the best novels of Jane Austen for centuries to come only if she could finish it.

The Watsons

‘The Watsons’ is another of the unfinished novels of Jane Austen which she started writing in 1803 and is believed that around her father’s death two years later she stopped writing it.

Austen wrote 80 pages of ‘The Watsons’ in which the female protagonist Emma, the daughter of a widowed cleric, returns to her father’s home after her wealthy aunt - who raised her - marries the second time.

Emma has to then do the arduous task of finding the husbands for her two elder sisters Margaret and Penelope.

Like Sandition, different authors have made attempts, including Austen’s own descendants, to complete this unfinished novel.

Best book of Jane Austen

If you ask me to recommend you the ‘best book by Jane Austen’ then I would say without hesitation Pride And Prejudice.

When you’ll read it you will find the drama set during 18th century England promising. (You must have already got an idea from the summary)

You will feel at times tension brewing between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy but you will also appreciate the portion when they both start seeing each other in a new light.

If you are into reading the romance genre then you ought to read this best of Jane Austen books.

To support my recommendation here are the first seven timeless classics from goodreads.

You can see that the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ tops the list.

Final Word

Jane Austen was a gifted author and her thinking, her writings were ahead of time.

This is evident from the fact that even after more than 200 years of her death, her novels’ popularity is far from decreasing.

I compiled this list of novels of Jane Austen for you hoping that it can make you lean towards reading her work.

Which of these books would like to read first? Have you already read any of the novels of Jane Austen? Which are they?

If you want to sell your second hand books at a price decided by you then check out my online used bookstore, bx-zone.com

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