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Jane Austen

Jane Austen, 1775-1817, English novelist.

Austen was, with Sir Walter Scott, one of the two most important novelists of the early nineteenth century. Between 1787 and 1793 she produced a large body of juvenilia, but began on her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, around 1795; it appeared in print (anonymously) only in 1811. After that came a long string of novels: Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), and Persuasion (published posthumously in 1817). Nearly all were well received, both popularly and critically; the Prince Regent, later George IV, was known for his fondness for her works.

Northanger Abbey, a satire of the conventions of the Gothic developed especially by Ann Radcliffe, appeared posthumously in 1817; in its original form, however, known as "Susan," it was one of Austen's first attempts at fiction.