Is it a bad thing that I really don't care about Miss Austen's letters or read her biographies, of which there must be many? I love her novels, but I don't care to make a pilgrimage Chawton or Bath just because of Miss Austen. I'm just not sure I need more than her books to get a sense of who she is (was). And does it matter all that much? Do I need to know her to understand her work? I just don't think so. I know next to nothing about Charlotte Bronte, excepting she had a couple of writing sisters (one of whom wrote Wuthering Heights - hated it), but reading Jane Eyre gives me an idea of who Miss Bronte was, not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, since I would love the book even if had been written by a space alien from a Dr. Who episode (even the Ood).
Okay, I know Miss Austen was the daughter of a minister and her best friend was her sister Cassandra; it's quite possible she'd been tossed in love (who hasn't been?), but can that place too much impact on her stories that we start to read things into her works that aren't really there? She's so creative and her characters resonate as real people. Do we need to think that whomever broke her heart is translated into Willoughby or Wickham? I'd prefer not to.
Miss Austen said that Emma was a character no one would like but herself and I find I can't stand Emma for the vast majority of the book. Am I reading into the work Miss Austen's comment? Or ... is Emma just annoying on her own without commentary from Miss Austen. Hell, I never watched Becoming Jane because I thought it unnecessary. Maybe that's it. The novels stand alone, the rest, lovely trivia though it is, is quite unnecessary.