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This article explores the relationships between Jane Austen's critical views on the novel, her experience of having her novels criticized, and her own creative practice as a novelist. Comments in her letters about what family and friends thought of Pride and Prejudice shed light on how she reacted to having her novels reviewed. She later formalized her project of amassing readers' opinions by recording them in 'Opinions of Mansfield Park' and 'Opinions of Emma.' In both collections, Austen displays critical and editorial judgment. Her decisions about what to include, what to omit, what to quote verbatim, and what to ventriloquize reflect her critical voice. Austen's editorial role in collecting these opinions illuminates how her perceptions of readers' criticisms inflected her own novelistic technique.