Austen, Jane (1775–1817), English novelist. Daughter of a clergyman, her novels, including Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Emma (1816), vividly portray the provinciality of the English middle class of her time with ironic insight and vivid characterizations. She ultimately gave up writing, discouraged by her inability to find a publisher. Her novels were published many years after she wrote them; 2 were published posthumously. Today she is considered one of the greatest novelists in the English language, and her work is an inspiration and model for many writers.