Jane Austen was born on 12 December 1775 and died on 18 July 1817. Of the four novels published in her lifetime (Sense and Sensibility, 1811, Pride and Prejudice, 1813, Mansfield Park, 1814 and Emma, 1816), not one carried her name as author, an anonymity resulting from the writer’s express desire. Her niece Fanny recorded in her diary on 28 September 1811 a request from the novelist’s sister, her aunt Cassandra, that no mention should be made of Jane Austen’s authorship of Sense and Sensibility, which was to appear late in October; after Pride and Prejudice appeared the novelist wrote to her sailor brother Francis on 25 September 1813, regretting that her favourite brother Henry had not been able to resist revealing her identity to an acquaintance heard to praise the novel (although she felt unable to blame Henry for this revelation, ascribing it to ‘affection and partiality’). Even Jane Austen’s own nephew James Edward (1798–1874), later to be the author of the Memoir, was not aware until 1814 of his aunt’s authorship of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, which he had read and enjoyed; the discovery inspired him to a tribute in verse: ‘No words can express, my dear Aunt, my surprise... That I had the honour to have a relation Whose works were dispersed through the whole of the nation.’ But although knowledge of Jane Austen’s authorship must have slowly spread (even in court circles following the incident of the dedication of Emma vito the Prince Regent), there was no mention of it in print until obituary notices appeared in the periodical press in 1817; between 21 July and 1 September 1817 eleven such notices are known to have been published (two of them, with largely the same wording, may have been the composition of Henry Austen).