JANE AUSTEN (1775–1817), a noted English novelist, was the seventh of eight children born to a minister and his wife in a small village in Hampshire, England. She was very close to her sister, Cassandra, the only other daughter in the family. Her first published novel was Sense and Sensibility, followed by Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published after her death, as was Lady Susan. Her novels vividly and wittily portrayed life among the middle and upper classes in 19th century England. All her novels were published anonymously. That she was a writer was known initially only by a few in her immediate family; soon, however, her brother Henry spread the word of her writing, and even though Austen had wished to remain anonymous, she did enjoy the public acknowledgement. Jane Austen’s work has had universal and enduring appeal, and her books, particularly Pride and Prejudice, are still very popular.