According to notes written by Austen's sister Cassandra after her death in 1817, the novel was finished by 1798 or 1799. The close resemblance in style to Austen's "juvenilia" of the early 1790s together with several in-jokes that only the Austen family could have appreciated strongly suggests that book was begun during that period, probably about 1794. However, the references to several Gothic novels published after 1794 would indicate Austen did not finish the book until about 1798 or 1799 as Cassandra Austen remembered. The scholar Cecil Emden argued that differences between the Catherine portrayed in the Bath section of the novel vs. the Catherine at Northanger Abbey were due to Austen finishing the book at a different stage of her life than when she started.
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