James Austen

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James Austen
Nationality United Kingdom
Occupation clergyman
Known for Jane Austen's eldest brother

James Austen was an English clergyman, best known for being the eldest brother of celebrated novelist Jane Austen.[1] His father's living had been in Steventon, Hampshire, and James succeeded him in this position, in 1801.

LIke his more famous sister, Austen was a writer.[2] According to Felicity Day, writing in The Telegraph, for a year in the 1790s, he published a weekly periodical called The Loiterer, and wrote much of its content. He published several pieces by his brother Henry, and Day speculated that he may have published one piece by his teenage sister Jane.[3] Day says the satirical pieces in The Loiterer resembled the unpublished juvenilia the teenage Jane wrote for her family.

Austen married at 27, and was widowed when he was 30.[2] His wife bore him a daughter.


  1. Meredith Hindley (January/February 2013). "The Mysterious Miss Austen: Two hundred years ago, Pride and Prejudice was anonymously published.". Humanities 34 (1). Archived from the original on 2020-12-17. https://web.archive.org/web/20201217010057/https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2013/januaryfebruary/feature/the-mysterious-miss-austen. Retrieved 2021-02-20. "James, the eldest, succeeded his father as the parson of Steventon.". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Felicity Day (2020-01-20). "Why did Jane Austen’s talented brother end up forgotten by history?". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2020-08-12. https://web.archive.org/web/20200818210400/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/did-jane-austens-talented-brother-end-forgotten-history/. Retrieved 2021-02-20. "I’ve always felt sympathy for one of Jane Austen’s brothers. James, the so-called writer of the family, was not the author’s confidant like Cassandra, not her favourite brother, not even the most professionally distinguished. He was, like Mary, outdone by his siblings on almost every count." 
  3. J. David Grey (1984). "Henry Austen: Jane Austen's 'perpetual sunshine'". Persuasions Occasional Papers, Jane Austen Society of North America (1): pp. 9-12. http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/printed/opno1/grey.htm. Retrieved 2021-02-20. 
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