Each of the novels is a love story and a story about marriage - marriage for love, for financial security, for social status. But they are not mere romances; ironic, comic and wise, they are masterly studies of the society Jane Austen observed.
Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon, near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. In her youth she wrote many burlesques, parodies and other stories, including a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan. The novels published in Austen's lifetime include Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16, and was published, together with Northanger Abbey, posthumously in 1818. Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817.