Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the British middle class, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary has gained her historical importance among scholars and critics, though her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Although Jane Austen wrote from her teenage years into her thirties her most notable writing was done from 1811 until 1816. During this period she wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth, Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but she died before completing it at the age of 41.