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Jane Austen

On this day in 1817, Jane Austen died after a lingering struggle with Addison's Disease. She was only 41 years old, and the English speaking world, unknowingly at the time, was deprived of one of its greatest novelists. Historian Paul Johnson captures this bereavement well:

"The knowledge that today this fatal complaint can easily be cured by modern medication heightens our sense of loss at her death at age forty-one... Her early death, like that of so many create people of her era--Keats, Shelley, Mozart, Weber, Girtin, GĂ©ricault, Bonington--leaves us with a fierce longing for the works she would undoubtedly have produced to delight us. There is no other writer I know of who inspires this feeling so poignantly. That is testimony to her greatness as a creator."

-from Creators by Paul Johnson, chapter 7

Rest in peace, dear Miss Austen.