When I studied Jane Austen at university I imagined her a middle-aged, strong -willed , intelligent woman who happened to live in the wrong age to fulfil her wish for independence and was, for that reason, quite angry for her unlucky fate. I thought her as proud as Elizabeth, as sensible and good mannered as Elinore, quite reserved and very generous like Anne Elliot. Anyhow, I got the image of the serious, reserved spinster feeling rather superior to many other women who had to come to a compromise with marriage.
Reading her minor works, Lady Susan last summer , and these Juvenilia this weekend gave me a new image of Jane Austen. That of a lively, open-minded, humorous young woman who loved laughing, reading, gossiping and being under the spotlight.