As a writer, Jane Austen (1775-1817) is notable not only for her works, but for her lack of genre or literary context.
Austen was born in 1775, and some of her earlier writings are similar to those of other 18th century writers.
She sold her first book in 1803, but it was not published until 1811. Her work was not influenced by the romanticism of that time period. It is sometimes mentioned with the Victorian writers, because of her influence over later writers like George Eliot.
But Austen does not fall into the Victorian era, which did not begin until Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837.
Austen may defy placement into a literary category, but the magnitude of her work stands on its own. Learn more about her at the following sites:
Sites to See
The Jane Austen Information Page
Contains e-texts of her major works, a biography and critical bibliography. The most useful portion of the site is a wonderful collection of writings about Austen's work -- including Austen's own analyses, a diagram of her literary influences and an interesting synopsis of ways Austen limited her sphere of writing.
The Republic of Pemberley For those with more than a slight Jane Austen obsession, The Republic of Pemberley offers a place to join in discussion with other Austen fans. The newcomers board let you get acquainted and later move on to the live chat.
A great number of Jane Austen societies exist around the globe. The Jane Austen Society links to some of the best and most active, including societies in the United States, Great Britain and Australia. Some of the societies' Web pages offer great information about Austen, including articles from their literary journals.