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JANE AUSTEN’S HEROINES HAD MORE LUCK IN LOVE THAN SHE DID.

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Austen had an affair with her neighbor Tom Lefroy when she was 20 years old, beginning in December 1895. Lefroy was a recent college graduate on his way to London to study law. Due to a lack of funds, Lefroy and Austen did not pursue their mutual attraction. In January 1896, Lefroy was sent away by family members who were unhappy with the match, and Austen never saw him again. Austen received her only known marriage proposal in December 1802 from Harris Bigg-Wither, the son of long-time family friends. Austen initially accepted, but the next morning she rescinded her acceptance. It's unclear why she changed her mind.

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