The Craven Fowle family had many associations with the Austen family, and on several occasions Jane visited the vicarage in Kintbury, where the Fowles had lived since 1741. As well as being distantly related to the family, both Fulwar and his brother Tom had been taught at Steventon by George Austen, and in 1792, Tom became engaged to Jane’s sister Cassandra. Not being able to afford to marry at that time, Tom was appointed as one of Lord Craven’s domestic chaplains and in 1795 travelled with him to the West Indies where he caught yellow fever and died. Cassandra received £1,000 in his will, and never married.
In the same year as Tom’s death, the eldest Austen brother James married Mary Lloyd, the sister of Fulwar’s wife Eliza. Fulwar reportedly “did not bother to read anything of Emma except the first and last chapters, because he had heard it was not interesting” (see Jane Austen’s Letters (1995), pp.524-525).
It was finally brought out after Austen's death in July 1817 alongside Persuasion, which was completed by Austen over the summer of 1816, shortly before she was forced to stop writing due to ill health. The 'Biographical Notice of the Author' written by her brother Henry.
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