BiographyRich in comedy, romance, wit and satire, Jane Austen’s six novels are also pin-sharp reflections of her social and geographical milieu in and around Hampshire, Bath and Dorset.
Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice both revolve around sisters, and Austen’s loving alliance with her only sister Cassandra lasted all her life. Both Jane and Cassandra had romances, but, like Austen’s heroines, refused to marry for the sake of it. They remained single, supporting their mother after the death of their father in 1805.
In 1809, Austen moved with her mother and her sister to Chawton, a tranquil Hampshire village. There, in a house given to them by her wealthy brother Edward, Austen spent her happiest years. All six of her novels date in their finished form from this period. Mansfield Park was published in 1814 and Emma, with its heroine whom Austen half-jokingly predicted 'no one but myself will much like', in 1815.
Austen died, aged only 41, on 18 July 1817, leaving the subtle Persuasion and her Gothic satire Northanger Abbey to be published later that year.
 Walter Scott, The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, March 1826.