Today marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. Two centuries after her death, her six (and a half…depending on how you feel about “Lady Susan”) novels still capture the public imagination and have a large following that has only grown with each year. They’ve been turned into plays, movies, even musicals. They’ve inspired countless sequels and some interesting reimaginings.
To put it another way, 200 years after her death, the world is still fascinated by Jane Austen.Filled with realism, social commentary, and some biting irony, her work did more than tell stories of young women finding advantageous marriages. Her novels provided a much needed female perspective in a profession and world that was dominated by men.
Her books didn’t just feature female characters, they were about women. These heroines were smart, complex, and lived in a world, that much like Austen’s, was not ready for them. Outside the world of her novels, Austen helped to pave a road not just for women aspiring to be authors, but for all women. It’s a road that we’re still working on, but thanks to Austen and others like her we’ve made it a long way.
Or to put it another way, 200 years later, the world still needs Jane Austen.
…just for fun: