“I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem.–I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter.”
letter to James Stanier Clarke
April 1, 1816 [138D]
James Stanier Clarke was secretary to the Prince Regent, and this series of letters is very funny. He had some, um, interesting writing ideas for Austen, largely based on his own life.