Jane Austen (17751817) was born in
Hampshire, England, to George Austen, a rector, and his wife,
Cassandra. Like many girls of her day, she was educated at home,
where she began her literary career by writing parodies and skits
for the amusement of her large family. Although Austen did not
marry, she did have several suitors and once accepted a marriage
proposal, but only for an evening. Although Austen never lived
apart from her family, her work shows a worldly and wise
sensibility. Her novels include Sense and Sensibility
(1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield
Park (1814), Emma (1815), and Northanger
Abbey and Persuasion, published together posthumously
Margaret Drabble is the highly acclaimed
novelist, biographer, and editor of The Oxford Companion to
English Literature. Her novels include The Gates of
Ivory, The Seven Sisters, and The Red Queen.
She lives in London.
Julia Quinn is the New York Times
bestselling author of eighteen historical romance novels, all of
which take place in early-nineteenth-century Great Britain. She is
the recipient of the RITA Award, romance's highest honor, and is a
graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges.