Learn about all the most classic Jane Austen novels in order of publication date and get summaries of all the best books Jane Austen wrote.
Jane Austen is arguably the original romance novelist, penning her novels at the turn-of-the-century just prior to and after 1800. They've stood the test of time and continue to be read and adored to the present day.
A few quick tips from a Jane Austen enthusiast (me!) before we dive into these famous books by Jane Austen:
1. Classic books like the books of Jane Austen can be difficult. This is normal and natural since language changes over time, so don't get discouraged! To help you, check out my tips for reading classic books, including following along with online chapter summaries and film adaptations.
3. If you want to read Jane Austen's complete works check out these boxed sets with all novels by Jane Austen to save money and get some swoon-worthy books to display on your bookshelf.
Now, let's discuss in full detail all Jane Austen novels in order of publication date!
Jane Austen Novels in Order
Sense and Sensibility (1811)
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
Jane Austen's first novel published was Sense and Sensibility, and I simply adored it. It's the story of two different sisters, Marianne (the thoughtful one) and Elinor (the impulsive one), on their journies to find true love, after their father's death and expulsion from the family home, in a society that regards status most highly.
As they experience their own heartaches, they learn and grow, striving to find that delicate balance between their senses and sensibilities. You'll love the yin and yang these sisters and their stories offer too, and the 90s film adaptation featuring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet is a fantastic pairing for it!
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Related Posts: Best Sense and Sensibility Quotes
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
The most famous of all books on the Jane Austen books list is, without a doubt, Pride and Prejudice -- one of my (and so many others) favorite love stories of all time! Chances are you've at least heard of the enemies-to-lovers story of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
As the five Bennett sisters look for love, the steadfast Elizabeth learns that first impressions aren't everything, and there may be more to the seemingly arrogant Darcy.
You also can't go wrong with ANY adaptation of this masterpiece! (I prefer the Keira Knightley version though.)
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Mansfield Park (1814)
“I was quiet, but I was not blind.”
Next up in this list of all Jane Austen books is Mansfield Park. It follows the humble literary heroine Fanny Price, who comes of age at the home of her wealthy aunt, uncle, and cousins.
Like many of Austen's novels, love, family, and society intersect. But, this one also has a scandalous affair bearing consequences and choices of moral integrity.
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“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.”
Another popular book on this list of books by Jane Austen is Emma, well known for it's wonderful film adaptations, including the 1990s cult classic and one of my all-time favorite movies, Clueless!
Emma Woodhouse is sassy and single, but she loves to play the matchmaker for others. But, when she attempts to match her protégée Harriet Smith, there are consequences for both of their love lives that she never anticipated.
This is also the final novel on the list of Jane Austen's books that was published while she was alive.
Related Post: Best Quotes from Emma
Northanger Abbey (1818)
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
Northanger Abbey (published posthumously) is an ambitious and unique coming-of-age novel in which a young and naive woman named Catherine Morland is swept up in high society and her vivid imagination. I find it to be underrated, and I think it's especially good for Young Adults and/or for a change of pace from Austen's extremely epic love stories.
After she befriends Isabella, who shares an affinity for Gothic romance novels, as well as Henry and Eleanor Tilney, she visits the grandiose Tilney estate and envisions their father committing heinous crimes.
She learns there are consequences to letting her imagination take control of her mind, but this lesson also comes with personal growth.
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Related post: Best Quotes from Northanger Abbey
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.”
Completing Jane Austen's list of books is Persuasion (published posthumously). The beautiful, poetic prose is especially beautiful in this novel, particularly, from the full Jane Austen list of works.
(If you watch the recent Netflix adaptation, you'll miss this luscious language, as it doesn't capture it the same way. It was still a decent adaptation to watch, in my opinion, but the reviews overall are not favorable.)
Twenty-seven-year-old Anne Elliot feels hopeless in love after, eight years earlier, she was persuaded to break her engagement to naval captain Frederick Wentworth based on his lack of wealth and status.
But, when he returns, she's forced to face her past, present, and future all at once. It's an epic love story for fans of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.
Related Post: Best Quotes from Persuasion
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