Jane Austen began writing in her early teens, and filled three notebooks with her fiction. Her earliest work reflects her interest in the novel as a genre; in brilliant short pieces she plays with plots, stock characters, diction, and style, developing a sense of form at a remarkably early age. The characters of these stories have a jaunty and never-failing devotion to themselves. They perpetually lie, cheat, steal - and occasionally commit murder. Throughout these short or unfinished pieces, Austen exhibits her sense of the preposterous in life and fiction with tough-mindedness and robust humour. Alice, the mock-heroine of Jack and Alice has `many rare and charming qualities, but Sobriety is not one of them'. In her later published fiction, Austen had learned to take demands for propriety seriously, reining in whatever might be thought boisterous or coarse. Here we see Jane Austen without her inhibitions. In addition to prose fiction and prayers, this collection also contains many of Jane Austen's poems, written to amuse or console friends, and rarely reprinted. The texts have been compared with the manuscripts and edited to give a number of new readings. The notes recreate the texture of daily life in Jane Austen's age, and demonstrate her knowledge of the fiction of her time. The introduction by Margaret Anne Doody sets the writings within the context of Jane Austen's life and literary career.
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction set among the gentry have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature.
Jane Austen was born in Steventon rectory on 16th December 1775. Her family later moved to Bath and then to Chawton in Hampshire. She wrote from a young age and Pride and Prejudice was begun when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impressions. It was initially rejected by the published she submitted it too and eventually published in 1813 after much revision.
All four of her novels - Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) published in her lifetime were published anonymously. Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817) were published posthumously.