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On July 18, 1817, at Winchester, Hampshire, the author died, as quietly and serenely as she had lived.

That’s the final sentence of a one-pararaph bio of Austen which preludes my coverless, trash-salvaged copy of NORTHANGER ABBEY. I don’t believe it for a second. I only believe it in the sense that she neither lived nor died with any sort of quiet or serenity.

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