The illustrator, like the literary critic, is an interpreter, and I like to believe that the visual interpretation may be interesting and enlightening, as the critic’s is. The illustrator’s business, of course, must mostly be with characters and action, and she or he should follow such visual information as the author supplies – though of course major gaps must be filled in by invention. But besides action and character the illustrator has the chance to pursue theme, period, surroundings, tone, and emphasis. In illustrating each of young Austen’s brilliant and funny narratives I intended to honour her text, but to enlarge and illuminate it too. And just as one critic’s take on a text, even if the reader disagrees with it, can lead to the reader’s clarifying her own interpretation, so illustrations, even if they do not match another reader’s visual experience of the text, may serve to enlarge and clarify too.