A portrait of Jane Austen
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Exploring the myths about Miss Jane Austen

23 December 2011 Last updated at 11:10 GMT

Prof Amanda Vickery explores some of the myths that sprang up around Jane Austen in the Victorian era as she meets fellow Austen fan Prof Kathryn Sutherland at the author's home in Hampshire where she lived with her mother and sister.

An anonymous, minor novelist in her lifetime, 200 years later, Jane Austen is recognised as a unique British literary genius whose fame rivals Dickens and Shakespeare.

Find out more in The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen, on Friday 23 December at 21:00 GMT on BBC Two.