By Austen, Jane
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
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Born in 1775, Jane Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English gentry. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818. Her work was not widely read until the late nineteenth century, and her fame grew from then on. The second half of the twentieth century saw a flourishing of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture. Known for her wit and sharp insight into social conventions, Austen's novels about love, relationships, and society have earned her a place in history as one of the most cherished writers in English literature.
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