The Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Stone Diaries focuses on the life and fiction of Jane Austen in a critical biography of the reclusive author of Pride and Prejudice and other great novels. Shields explores the life of a writer whose own novels have engaged and delighted readers for the past two hundred years. Jane Austen reveals both the very private woman and the acclaimed author behind the enduring classics Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. With her forceful insight and gentle wit, she was the ultimate chronicler of the mores and manners of her time as well as a groundbreaking author who would influence many of our greatest contemporary novelists. Who was this woman that created both characters that leap off the page and entertaining plots, yet managed to quietly challenge a strict social order? What gave her the motivation to continue writing when women were excluded from the publishing world? In this compelling and passionate biography, Carol Shields explores the life of this amazing woman, from her early family life in Stevenson, to her later years at Bath, her broken engagement, and her tumultuous relationship with her sister Cassandra.