traces the author's life and times, her personal relationships, the attitudes and customs of the time that shaped her and were in turn shaped by her work, and the places where she lived, worked and set her novels, from rural Hampshire to fashionable Bath Spa.
Chapters on each of her novels run throughout the book and place them in the context of her life. This volume draws on archives for a truly insightful view of the author, reproducing rare and fascinating documents from her personal archives, including early manuscripts, a handwritten note outlining the profits from her novels, a letter from Jane's father to the publisher Thomas Cadell, which was returned to the family with the words 'Rejected by return of post' written on it, and pages from the unfinished manuscript of Sanditon.
For over 200 years, the novels of Jane Austen
have been loved and celebrated across a diverse international readership. From her playful digs at the ridiculous to her examination of the strengths and weaknesses of humanity, she shows an insight into human behaviour, arguably unparalleled by any other novelist, that is as relevant today as when her novels were first published.
Introduction * Early Life * Early Writings * 'Lady Susan' * Northanger Abbey * Loves * 'The Watsons' * Chawton * The Professional Author * Sense & Sensibility * Two Heroines: Elinor and Marianne * Chawton * Pride & Prejudice * Man of Property: Darcy and Pemberley * War and Peace * Mansfield Park * Licence and Restraint: The Moral World of Mansfield Park * Emma * Emma's First Readers * Persuasion * A Romantic Novel * 'Sanditon' * Death * The Cult of Austen.