About . . . Celebrating Jane Austen’s Enduring Legacy




When the authors you will meet on this site first began writing what we commonly call JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction), they had few dreams of becoming rich from the task, for writing is a labor intensive exercise with few true benefits except the process is a passionate release of one’s soul into the world. Most of them write because they can think of nothing more fulfilling. After their first foray, and then their second, the process became a bit of an obsession, and they are hooked. We hope you, the readers, are likewise “obsessed” with our many offerings.

People often ask me: “Why Jane Austen? Why not one of the Brontës or some other famous female author?”

The answer is simple for me and, I imagine such is true for the rest of our group.

Jane Austen is one of the greatest and most beloved authors in English history. Trust me, I taught English for 40 years, and I have come across many a student who “resisted” a study of Austen on every level. Yet, repeatedly, I hear back from first one and then another of how Austen played out in his or her life after high school and college. For example, I know a young man who vehemently asked why he had to suffer so when all he wanted to do was to go to film school. I kept telling him some day he would be on “®Jeopardy” and be required to know who wrote both Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion for the ®Final Jeopardy question. Yet, as you might have imagined something better came along. On his first major interview after graduation with his film studies degree, the director was describing the basic plot of the movie they hoped to produce. The man did not provide the name of the characters or the working title of the film; yet, my former student recognized it immediately. He said, “So it is a modern day Pride and Prejudice.” He earned the job and a “bevy of female assistants.” He sent me a sincere thank you for both the employment and the lovely ladies.

Yet, there are other reasons to study and to love Austen. Most assuredly, it is nearly impossible not to become lost in her writing style—to take serious note of the structure of her novels. Austen is timeless when compared to many of her contemporaries. A literary study of her six major novels: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey, as well as the unfinished novel Sanditon and the much later published novella, Lady Susan, opens the reader to a world he/she could never have imagined. Jane Austen is truly unique in her approach to the novel, but her “style” serves as the format for the majority of the romance-based novels on the market today, especially the historical romances.

Naturally, there is much to be learned from Austen and her novels about the period in which the lady lived: fine art, music, dance, social norms, family life, etiquette, manners, marriage, geography, etc. Remember: Austen was NOT writing historical novels, but rather, contemporary tales. Within those stories, there is the richness of her vocabulary. To all these things, we add the compelling desire of the film industry to depend again and again on Austen for their scripts, not only films of her actual novels, but multiple adaptations and “what ifs,” such as You’ve Got Mail, Becoming Jane, Clueless, etc. Such is what each author on this blog does daily. Each writes an adaptation, a variation, a ‘What If’ tale, etc., whether historical or contemporary based on an Austen novel or Austen’s characters.

Hopefully, you will discover more of each of these aspects on ©Always Austen, as well as a variety of tales from our very talented troupe of writers. Come celebrate the brilliance of Jane Austen with us. Try your luck with the giveaways, but come to ©AlwaysAusten to share with others in a love of the forever-fabulous Jane Austen.

2 responses to “About . . . Celebrating Jane Austen’s Enduring Legacy”

  1. kimbelle1 Avatar

    I confess I have likely read less often all others in favor of Persuasion, for Captain Wentworth is so personable and unable to be aloof, even when he wished to be so, the depth of love is beautiful in her works. And while her other characters had an equally happy ever after, were they? I always wondered that should they have ever been tales of fact over fiction, which of her couples would have been happiest after all…

    1. Regina Jeffers Avatar

      Obviously, Persuasion is Austen’s more “mature” tale, perhaps because the couple is older, but likely because Austen had known a bit of heartbreak herself. I must tell you, when I was still teaching, my AP Language class would read “Persuasion.” That class was always third period of a 4 period block schedule. It would be split by lunch. So I would have them for an hour, they would go to lunch, and then return to me for the last half hour. I would always time the reading of Wentworth’s letter to read right before lunch. The girls would ignore the bell and just sit there for a few extra minutes and look off starry eyed or sigh. The boys would be asking “Aren’t you coming?” etc. Often the girls would tell them simply to “go away” for they were “idiots and did not understand.” Year after year, the same reaction. I thought it was very telling regarding the maturity of 11th grade girls and that of 11th grade boys. LOL!

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