This essay gives an overview of women’s fiction published between the late 18th and early 19th century, focusing on their interest in sensibility, education, and marriage. Women’s novels during this period were very much influenced by the literary genre called the novel of sensibility, which celebrates emotional concepts such as sentiment, delicacy, and sensibility. In promoting education for women, many female novelists not only vindicated women’s capacity to reason, but also recommended moral feeling for others. Although Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria Edgeworth, and Susan Ferrier believed that women should embrace reason, they knew that domestic affections were necessary. Affectionate ties or compassion are key to understanding the novels of Charlotte Smith and Mary Robinson. Possessing neither was detrimental to the happiness of heroines of this period, and this is typically observed in Elizabeth Inchbald’s A Simple Story (1791) – pursuing one’s desire without restraint would lead to self-destruction. Jane Austen and Mary Shelley were writing their novels when the radical movement connected to Mary Wollstonecraft’s assertion about the need for women’s education had subsided: excessive indulgence of emotions and sexual appetite were cautioned against in their novels. Although in the early 19th-century sexual transgressions were condemned, some novelists such as Charlotte Dacre explored the theme of women’s sexual freedom.