Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law








Although customs surrounding attribution require that only I be named as author of this Article, that fact obscures other truths about this Article. 1 One way for readers to appreciate this Article as reflecting group activity at the same time it reflects my own individual effort is the literary allusion in the title to Jane Austen and her work. I feel a particular connection to Jane Austen because she seems neither to have enjoyed nor sought the solitary life many of us imagine novelists live. When Austen finds herself, after ten years of having written virtually nothing, back in a permanent home with her sister and widowed mother at Chawton she enjoys exceptional literary success. 2 She sees finally the publication of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, and she writes Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. 3 The evidence of solitary hours in her newly acquired cottage is scarce while the evidence of familial connectedness is substantial. She continued to share a bedroom with her sister Cassandra, and she apparently worked right in the thick of the household clamor on the first floor of the house between the front door and some offices.

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