After Jane Austens earliest known writings, she began a more serious work, Lady Susan, in 1793 or 1794. It is a short, epistolary novel that portrays a woman bent on the exercise of her own powerful mind and personality to the point of social selfdestruction. Lady Susan, a clever and ruthless widow, determines that her daughter is going to marry a man whom both detest. Lady Susan sets her own sights on her sisterinlaws brother, all the while keeping an old affair simmering on the back burner. But people refuse to play the roles assigned them, and in the end her daughter gets the sisterinlaws brother, the old affair runs out of steam, and all that is left for Lady Susan is the man intended for her daughter, the one neither can abide. Jane Austen ended this work abruptly with the comment: this correspondencecould not, to the great detriment of the Post Office revenue, be continued any longer.