Jane Austen

Jane Austen's gravestoneJane Austen‘s unequalled reputation has led academic canon-makers to set her on a pedestal and scholars of early women’s writing to use her as an epoch. For generations she was the first—or the only—woman to be adjudged ‘major’. Recent attention has shifted: her balance, good sense, and humour are more taken for granted, and critics have been scanning her six mature novels for traces of the boldness and irreverence which mark her juvenilia. Her two unfinished novels, her letters (which some consider an important literary text in themselves), and her poems and prayers have also received some attention. Go to Orlando>