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Jane Austen
(1775-1817):

Austen never married, had no contact with the London literary circle; she, nevertheless, elevated her life, - a "little world of struggling clerical families, husband-hunting mothers and daughters, eligible clergymen and landowners, country fools and snobs" - into an enduring microcosm of the great world through her writings, distinguished by her "satirical wit and brilliant comedy, complex and subtle view of human nature, exquisite moral discrimination, and unobtrusive perfection of style (Benet's)."

Austen was a traditionalist who thought that natural or absolute morality come before the needs, real or supposed, of society.

"If I were in doubt as to the wisdom of my actions I should not consult Flaubert or Dostoevsky. The opinion of Balzac of Dickens would carry little weight with me: were Stendhal to rebuke me, it would only convince me I had done right: even in the judgment of Tolstoy I should not put complete confidence. But I should worry for weeks and weeks, if I incurred the disapproval of Jane Austen." (Cecil, Poets & Story-Tellers.)
Austen's completed novels, were (with their publication dates): Sense & Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818). These works of Austen's are readily available on the 'NET . I should point out that these works were written a number of years before they were published, for example, Pride and Prejudice was Austen's first novel and was written between October 1796 and August 1797.

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2011

Peter Landry