I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No – I must keep my own style & go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other
-Jane Austen in her letters
I was recently reading a biography of Jane, where the biographer mentioned that Jane was only fully herself when writing letters. To say that such-and-such character is her mouthpiece, or that another illustrates her moral philosophy is to reduce her ability to create characters apart from her own viewpoint–which she most assuredly did. Through the rich history, exchanged stories, and personal observations of her family, Jane was able , in her own way, to create characters wholly unique from her own ideas, though she led a quiet, home life.