Eliza de Feuillide seemed fascinating and outlandish to her cousins in rural eighteen century England. When she visited their village, her appearance was electrifying. She was an attractive, accomplished French countess with a vivacious personality who inspired their imaginations and regaled them with stories of life in London and Paris where she hobnobbed with French nobility and wore the latest fashions. One of these impressionable younger cousins would find Eliza's stories so fascinating that she would incorporate elements of Eliza's life into some of the most famous novels in English literature. This cousin was Jane Austen. Yet Eliza's life was not as glamorous as Jane or her Austen cousins might have thought. She faced many tragedies in her life that wealth and social class could not protect her against. She was also forced to adapt and re-examine her priorities in a way that would dramatically change her life choices and result in a more sedate lifestyle. Read about the perseverance and courage of the real person behind several fictional characters in Jane Austen's writings and novels and the deeper connection Eliza had to the Austen family.