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Over the past 200 years—although never more than in recent decades—Jane Austen's sharp and witty novels have delighted a diverse and devoted international readership. With scant information about her life available, fans have a bottomless hunger for details about the woman behind the work. Jane Austen feeds that appetite with background on her relationships with family and friends; on the contemporary attitudes that shaped Austen and her writing; and on the settings that inspired her and feature in her stories. Austenites will particularly treasure the 15 pieces of removable memorabilia, which include facsimiles of early manuscripts, a handwritten note outlining the profits from her novels, and a letter from Austen's father to the publisher Thomas Cadell that was returned with the words “Rejected by return of post” written on it.
Janet Todd is an authority on literature and culture of the early eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Florida and is currently the Professor of English Literature at Aberdeen University and the President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She is a well-respected author of many books on women in literature, including Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life (W&N) and Jane Austen: In Context (Cambridge University Press).