Austen, of course, was the author of novels that have endured and delighted for centuries. Her biggest hits are "Pride and Prejudice," "Emma" and "Sense and Sensibility" -- lasting stories of young women coming of age in Edwardian England. Less well-known, but no less Austen-y, are "Mansfield Park," "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion."
Born into an affluent family, Austen had a comfortable upbringing not unlike her characters': She learned to play piano, visited friends, attended dances. She also, from a young age, wrote. Her first published work was "Sense and Sensibility," published in three volumes; it was originally published anonymously, identifying Austen only as "A Lady."