Austen’s hilarious early stories and sketches–complete with her delightfully quirky spelling habits–now collected in one volume, including Lady Susan, the basis for Whit Stillman’s feature film Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale and Chlo Sevigny Jane Austen’s earliest writing dates from when she was just eleven-years-old, and already shows the hallmarks of her mature work. But it is also a product of the times in which she grew up–dark, grotesque, often surprisingly bawdy, and a far cry from the polished, sparkling novels of manners for which she became famous. Drunken heroines, babies who bite off their mothers’ fingers, and a letter-writer who has murdered her whole family all feature in these highly spirited pieces. This edition includes all of Austen’s juvenilia, including her “History of England” – written by a ‘partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian and the novella Lady Susan, in which the anti-heroine schemes and cheats her way through high society. With a title that captures a young Austen’s original idiosyncratic spelling habits and an introduction by Christine Alexander that shows how Austen was self-consciously fashioning herself as a writer from an early age, this is a must-have for any Austen lover.