Summer 2017 marks the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen at the age of 41. What explains her enduring appeal? Four writers discuss this as well as arguing for their favourite of her novels. Paula Byrne is the author of The Real Jane Austen, which introduces us to a woman deeply involved in the world around her, yet far ahead of her time in emotional and artistic development. She champions Austen’s Mansfield Park. Helena Kelly, who admires Persuasion, is the author of Jane Austen, the Secret Radical, ‘a sublime piece of literary detective work’. The novelist Kamila Shamsie speaks up for Pride and Prejudice, which she has loved since childhood. Their discussion is chaired by John Mullan, author of What Matters in Jane Austen? He praises Emma.
We are grateful to the Royal Literary Fund for sponsoring this event.