About the BookFor many readers Jane Austen is the quintessential English author. Jane Austen sets out to explore the history of this identification with Englishness in the context of a tradition of criticism that has frequently tried to achieve the reverse: to establish her difference, and distance, from ‘us’. Rather than simply showing how she differs from the ‘heritage’ Austen, Robert Miles argues that many of the reasons for Austen’s construction as an English cultural icon are to be found in the works’ formal qualities, and often in her most innovative techniques. After a review of her reception as an ‘English’ author, and the salient critical attempts to render her ‘strange’, Miles moves on to consider the achievement of personality in Austen’s fiction; her creative use of comic structures; her development of the novel of education; her constant balance between ‘realism’ and the pastoral, novel and romance; and her sophisticated, and, to an extent, novel use of free indirect speech.About the Author/sRobert Miles is a Professor of English at Stirling University. He is the author of many publications including Ann Radcliffe: The Great Enchantress (1995) and Gothic Writing 1750-1820: A Genealogy (1993).