The novels of Jane Austen depict a world of civility, reassuring stability and continuity, which generations of readers have supposed was the world she herself inhabited. Claire Tomalin's biography paints a surprisingly different picture of the Austen family and their Hampshire neighbours, and of Jane's progress through a difficult childhood, an unhappy love affair, her experiences as a poor relation and her decision to reject a marriage that would solve all her problems - except that of continuing as a writer. Both the woman and the novels are radically reassessed in this biography.
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Claire Tomalin was literary editor of the NEW STATESMAN and SUNDAY TIMES. Her two previous books (both in Penguin) were the highly acclaimed and award-winning THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (about Dickens' mistress) and MRS JORDAN'S PROFESSION. She is married to Michael Frayn and lives in Camden Town, north London.
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