This elegant book traces the two major periods of Jane Austen's work in order to demonstrate the fundamental impact and influence of British Romanticism on the later novels. It addresses an important yet neglected issue regarding Austen's work: the longstanding critical consensus that Austen's last three novels represent far greater artistic achievements than do her first three. Deresiewicz offers a detailed and systematic account of the differences between the two phases of Austen's career. In doing so, he contextualizes her work within the British Romantic movement. He traces the Romantic influence by considering the general features that distinguish the two phases and presents chapter-length readings of the late novels that understand each work as a characteristically Romantic investigation into hidden mechanisms of psychic and affective life.