Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback edition of John Halperin's acclaimed and controversial biogaphy moves beyond the usually vague ... Show synopsis Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback edition of John Halperin's acclaimed and controversial biogaphy moves beyond the usually vague account of Austen's life and away from the serene and untroubled image of Austen created by a protective family. In "The Life of Jane Austen, " Halperin reveals a roubust, vigorous, and at times difficult woman with a large and diverse circle of family and acquaintances. He documents her troubled relationships with a hypochondriacal mother and her frank dislike of the sister-in-law who usurped her childhood home, and he sheds new light on the shadowy existence of a retarded older brother. He also sets forth in greater detail than ever before the number of Austen's suitors, the nature of her relations with them, the romantic passages of her life, and her attitude toward childbearing. Making fuller use of Austen's correspondence than previous biographers, Halperin shows us the costs exacted from a sensitive and critical personality by a society - and, frequently, a family - that paid too little attention to the predicaments of unmarried women, especially those with inadequate financial means.