Breaking News From 1795: Jane Austen Falls in Love

Jane Austen’s enchanting novels about love and marriage are unmatched in Western literature. It is an irony that the writer herself by no means married. Was she ever in love?

Rudyard Kipling definitely thought so. In his poem “Jane’s Marriage,” the dashing however financially shaky Captain Wentworth of Austen’s “Persuasion” stands in for the love of Jane’s life. Some students say Austen’s beloved was a younger Irishman named Tom Lefroy. Others dismiss the thought of such a romance as poppycock. Austen’s family destroyed most of her letters, so the matter has primarily been one among hypothesis.

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