Esther Byrne

I’ve had a piece of flash fiction published!

My story is a 600-word diary entry, written from the perspective of Cassandra Austen, the sister of the somewhat famous Jane Austen.

The sisters were extremely close, the only girls in a large family of six boys. They shared a room throughout their lives, and were always together, from school to their years in Bath to Jane’s final months in Winchester.

Neither sister ever married, and Cassandra confined herself to domestic duties, allowing Jane’s writing to flourish. Sadly, Jane only lived to the age of 41, after succumbing to a mystery illness. Cassandra was left behind and lived several more decades, never quite recovering from the loss of her sister. She and her brother Henry were responsible for Jane’s estate, and helped to ensure her books were published and preserved.

In the last few months of her life, Cassandra burnt many of Jane’s letters, preventing both her current and future admirers from knowing some of her darkest secrets. In my story, I consider why she might have done this.

No-one will ever exactly know, but I liked the idea of giving a voice to the lesser-known sister of one of the most famous authors to have ever lived. Cassandra has no books for people to remember her by, but in my story at least, she gets a chance to speak.


You can read it here:


You can read more about Cassandra Austen here:



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