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By Jane Austen

About This Book

This is perhaps the most mature of Austin's novels — certainly the most mature of her heroines. Ann Elliott impresses us almost as a modern woman. No longer in the first bloom of prettiness, neglected by her family and ill-advised by her friends, she nevertheless manages, largely by the strength of her own will, to seek and find her own happiness.

About Jane Austen

(1775-1817) Jane Austin was the seventh child of English clergyman George Austin and his wife, Cassandra. At 17, she was already attempting serious writing, and by the time she was 20, she had already completed a novel called "Elinor and Marianne," which later became the basis for "Sense and Sensibility." The first versions of "First Impressions" — later to become her masterwork, "Pride and Prejudice" — were written in the following two years.

In 1803, the manuscript for "Susan" (later to be "Northanger Abbey") was sold to publisher Richard Crosby, but was never published by him. Jane Austin's first book to appear in print, "Sense and Sensibility," was self-published. It appeared in 1811, and its success made possible the publication of "Pride and Prejudice," in 1813. "Mansfield Park" was published the following year, "Emma" in 1815. "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion" did not appear in print until after her death in 1817.

Jane Austin's six great novels are all studies of character. They are acknowledged classics of the first order, and she, herself, has been widely called a writer of real genius. Even so, she led a relatively quiet life. She never married. Her home was in her father's parsonage until she was 26 years old. Her father, or one of her brothers, represented her in all her dealings with publishers, and she and her sister lived in her father's or brothers' homes for most of their lives.


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