'Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked,' Jane Austen wrote to her niece Fanny Knight a few months before she died. Yet most traditional accounts of Austen's life have insisted on portraying her as just such a picture of perfection. In his 1997 biography David Nokes re-examined Austen, and presented a far richer and livelier picture of the woman who once wrote in another of her letters, 'If I am a wild beast, I cannot help it...' "A fine book, probably the best tribute to the genius of Jane". (Glasgow Herald). "[This book] cries out to be read, not alone by fans of Jane Austen but by anyone who enjoys a great, witty, gossipy read". (Irish Times). "What fun Nokes' book is". (Fay Weldon, Independent). "David Nokes is assertive, energetic, opinionated, satirical, supremely confident, dramatising and gleefully splenetic". (Hermione Lee).