Their most striking similarity was that both produced a considerable body of juvenilia. For both authors this was a period in which to experiment and to develop character and style. Their work moved in very different directions: in her first short burlesques, Jane Austen exhibits a merciless wit as she lampoons human vanities and vices, later sharpened in 'The Three Sisters' and 'Catherine' to reveal a maturer moral perspective. Charlotte Bronte's appetite was for romantic adventure and, with her brother Branwell, she created the fabulous kingdom of Angria. Yet the prevailing interests of her novels - a concern with the psychological intricacies of her characters' relationships and a desire to explore the forms of human passion - are already apparent. As Frances Beer comments in her Introduction, 'both sets of juvenilia provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to watch the growth and coalescence of the creative consciousness'.
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