Harriet Walter is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has played lead roles in numerous RSC productions. She appears regularly on British television and the West End stage. Her motion picture roles include Fanny Dashwood in Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Walter was recently nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in the Broadway production of Schiller's play Mary Stuart. She performed the role of Lady Susan Vernon in the 2001 Naxos AudioBook recording of Jane Austen's novel Lady Susan. An extended excerpt of this recording may be heard here.
"I think one of the reasons people love Jane Austen is that she's quite wicked, but she's not really viciously cruel. She's sympathetic towards the people she's laughing at."