Jane and Cassandra Austen were the closest of sisters from early childhood. Jane looked up to and adored her older sister, who was devoted to her in return. The inseparable sisters supported each other through various emotional crises and family troubles. Most importantly, Cassandra supported and encouraged Jane in her writing. This book traces their relationship throughout Jane's life and literary career, until Jane's premature death at the age of 41. It also looks at Cassandra's life after the loss of her sister. "I Jane Austen of the Parish of Chawton do . . . give and bequeath to my dearest Sister Cassandra Elizabeth every thing of which I may die possessed, or which may be hereafter due to me . . . I appoint my said dear Sister the Executrix of this my last Will & Testament." Jane Austen, 27 April 1817. The bequest included the manuscripts of Jane's unpublished and unfinished novels.