Born in 1775, Jane Austen is one of the most famous and celebrated authors in the world. This English author has had a lasting impact on the world of literature.
Her wonderful writing often acted as a critique of the British society of the 18th and 19th centuries. Not to mention, she satirized popular literary conventions at the time through her realist style.
Austen is responsible for a plethora of well-known books that are regarded as essential reading by many literary scholars.
These books include Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. So if you enjoy classic novels, you will adore these charming yet intelligent novels.
During her life, Austen was not particularly famous, It was not until after she died in 1817 that she became a household name.
Some of her books were published posthumously. Nowadays, Austen’s novels are critically acclaimed and highly acclaimed by scholars.
If you love the writing of Jane Austen, then you will adore the works of comparable authors like Georgette Heyer, Charlotte Brontë, Louisa May Alcott, George Eliot, and Uzma Jalaluddin. Read here to discover which books you should add to your reading list.
Books By Jane Austen
As mentioned, Jane Austen is best known for writing books like Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion. Her works tend to explore similar themes, such as:
Many of Austen’s works feature social critique. In particular, she criticizes the social and class structure of the time. Many of her books focus on middle-class protagonists who are sent to live with wealthy family members.
For example, in Mansfield Park, the young Fanny Price is sent to live with her rich aunt Lady Bertram. From here, the book explores Fanny’s life as she attempts to acclimatize to this new life.
Austen uses this setting to mock the courting rituals of the social elite. Austen employs a satirical writing style to highlight the flaws of these strict social classes.
Gender is also a massive theme that is seen throughout the writing of Jane Austen. Specifically, her books emphasize the restrictive role that women have in society.
The majority of her protagonists are female, allowing the reader to better understand the position of women in the society of this period. Marriage is a major theme in Pride and Prejudice.
The boom raises the question of whether or not men must be married. The book presents the complex romance between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Many literary critics have fiercely argued over whether or not Austen would be considered a feminist author.
Another recurring theme that can be observed throughout the books of Jane Austen is morality. Austen sees social etiquette and manners as being a moral necessity.
She highlights the importance of morality, which is highlighted through the journey that her protagonists experience. These protagonists tend to become more morally enlightened as the narrative progresses.
Authors Like Jane Austen
Our first recommendation is Georgette Heyer. This English author is a major name in the Regency romance genre.
As a result, Heyer is widely considered to be the spiritual successor of Austen, as her works similarly focus on the complex social intricacies of romance.
Though Heyer has largely focused on romance novels, she has also ventured into crime fiction books, such as Death in the Stocks. Though these crime novels aren’t comparable to Austen’s books, they can nonetheless be fun for Austen fans.
- Heyer writes amazing romance narratives that are akin to the writing of Jane Austen.
- The protagonists of her book tend to have similar personalities to those found in Austen’s novels.
- Heyer was influenced by Austen, meaning that she produces more modern versions of her writing style.
- Her crime fiction novels are not similar to Austen’s writing, as they explore different themes and narratives.
Themes: Romance, crime, money, social class.
Louisa May Alcott
Next, Loisa May Alcott is an amazing American author who is best known for writing the delightful classic Little Women. This book depicts the lives of four sisters, as they progress into womanhood.
Little Women explores the social positions of these women. This is an intricate exploration of gender roles that is similar to Jane Austen’s novels.
If you adore Austen’s writing, you may also want to check out some of Alcott’s other pieces, such as An Old Fashioned Girl and Under the Lilacs. Though these books are not as famous as Little Women, they are nonetheless worth trying.
- Little Women is an iconic piece of writing that is considered to be a classic must-read.
- Alcott’s page-turning novels focus on interesting themes like Gender and marriage.
- Alcott’s writing can be a little wordy, which may not be suitable for some modern readers.
Themes: Gender, Marriage, Morality, Religion, Social Class.
As one of the Brontë sisters, Charlotte Brontë is a celebrated author who is on the same level as Jane Austen. This English author is responsible for a range of novels that are widely regarded as some of the best pieces of literature to ever be produced.
Perhaps Brontë’s most famous book is Jane Eyre. This Bildungsroman book follows the life of the titular Jane Eyre as she develops into an adult. At the start of the novel, Jane is under the guardianship of her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed.
The book focuses on Jane’s escape from her nefarious aunt and the deep romance she has with the complex Mr. Rochester.
- Like Austen, Brontë is a classic English novelist.
- The focus on the themes of gender, social class, and marriage, is similar to Austen’s literary focus.
- Brontë’s books can be fairly long.
Themes: Social class, marriage, religion, gender, family.
Uzma Jalaluddin is a modern Muslim Canadian author who has grabbed the attention of the literary world since the release of her 2018 debut novel.
The main reason for Jalaluddin’s inclusion on this list is that she wrote Ayesha At Last, which many people consider to be a modern retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
However, Jalaluddin offers an ingenious modern twist on this narrative by presenting it in the context of modern Muslim culture. In Ayesha At Last, Ayesha Shamsi becomes engrossed by Khalid.
As she begins to explore the wild rumors surrounding him, Ayesha begins to learn more about herself. Jalaluddin has also written Hana Khan Carries On, her second book.
- Jalaluddin is a dynamic author who offers a more modern voice than the other entries on this list.
- Ayesha At Last is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice that offers a brand-new perspective.
- As a more contemporary writer, Jalaluddin doesn’t have the same classic vibe as Jane Austen.
Themes: Marriage, relationships, culture, identity.
Last but not least, George Eliot is the pseudonym of English novelist Mary Ann Evans, who is one of the most recognizable authors of the Victorian period. Eliot chose this pen name to escape the limitations placed on female authors.
Middlemarch is a magnificent book that explores intertwined narratives. These narratives focus on different themes, such as religion and marriage. These are two themes that are commonly found in Austen’s books.
- Like many of Austen’s works, Eliot’s Middlemarch is considered an English classic.
- Eliot’s exploration of marriage reflects Austen’s portrayal.
- Eliot was born after Austen, so her books explore a slightly more modern society.
Themes: Gender, class, money, marriage, morality.
If you enjoy the charming and thought-provoking writing of Jane Austen, you may be struggling to find a writer who has a similar style. After all, few writers can capture the balance of comedy and social critique that characterizes Austen’s writing.
But as this light highlights, there are lots of authors who write similar narratives and depict comparable themes. So if you are a Jane Austen enthusiast, why not give these book recommendations a try?!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Authors Were Contemporary With Jane Austen?
Authors that were writing at the same time as Austen include Maria Edgeworth and Frances Burney, though there were not many female authors who were writing during this period.
Though they are often considered contemporaries with Austen, the Brontë sisters are not contemporary with her as she died before they started to write.
What Writing Style Did Jane Austen Use?
Jane Austen had a distinctive writing style that was laced with irony, parody, and satire. Not to mention, she tends to employ a sense of realism in her narratives that make her social critiques much more potent.