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Jane Austen's reputation rests on the six novels she wrote in her short life - enduringly popular novels which have become part of the fabric of English life, and which have reached new audiences through recent dramatisations on screen and stage. This book, which draws on her letters, describes Jane's life in the vicarage at Steventon and later at Bath and Chawton, and her relationships with family and friends - especially her beloved sister, Cassandra, and the engaging Tom Lefroy (who it was rumoured was the love of her life). It also describes the parties and balls in country houses and assembly rooms which she attended and the detail of nineteenth-century life which she so sharply observed and which provided the backgroung to her novels. This book is a pleasure for anyone wanting to understand the life of one of our great novelists.