Jane Austen was intelligent and opinionated. She had a strong sense of her place in her family, community, church, and nation. The words she put into Anne Elliott’s mouth apply to her: her idea of good company was lively conversation among well-informed people. She was kind to the needy or feeble, but had no patience for pomposity or arrogance. If I had a time machine, she is the person I would want to meet.