The epistolary novel Lady Susan is the darkly humorous tale of the amatory schemes and machinations of an ambitious and unprincipled coquette. The Watsons is the story of the refined and well-educated Emma Watson, forced by the second marriage of her aunt to return to the house of her impecunious father and face the marital plots and intrigues of her sisters. Begun by the author in the last few months of her life, Sanditon, set in a fast-growing former fi shing village, swiftly becoming a fashionable resort, pokes fun at the inhabitants of the new coastal town, with all their hypochondria, witlessness and self-obsession.
Three unjustly neglected novels spanning Austen's literary career - from the early Lady Susan (recently made into a film) to the unfinished Sanditon
Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching. That was how Shakespeare wrote. -- Virginia Woolf
The witty and sharply satirical novels of Jane Austen have an influence that shows no sign of waning, with continual adaptations and echoes in contemporary culture, and an ever-enthusiastic audience.