(1775-1817) an English writer whose novels have had a strong influence on the development of English literature. In them she describes the personal relationships and social life of the English upper middle class of her time with gentle humour. She herself never married. Her best-known books are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Emma (1816) and Persuasion (1818). Many of her novels have been made into films.