Jane Austen’s Timeless Appeal

• 3 min read

We continue to be the characters that the English novelist wrote about.

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Video thumbnail about Jane Austen presentation

“Respect for right conduct is felt by every body.” 
—novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817) in Emma

That overarching theme about right conduct and virtue being essential to a happy and flourishing life is one writ large across Jane Austen’s work. In the 200 years since her death, she continues to be venerated through book clubs, essays, and countless film adaptations—even spoofs involving zombies and sea monsters.

AMG delved into the novelist’s world of virtue and values recently by hosting a webinar titled Jane Austen’s Narrative Art and Moral Vision with Austen scholar Kathryn E. Davis, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Dallas and a visiting fellow at the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization at the University of Colorado at Boulder. AMG’s relationships with universities and other institutions allow us the opportunity to have leading experts share their knowledge with clients and the broader community. We take a broader view of wealth management and see a true value in curiosity and learning.

“Janeites” Remain Devoted to Austen

Fan clubs devoted to the novelist have sprung up around the world. These fans often are referred to as “Janeites,” an appreciative term coined by Rudyard Kipling. The fandom of Janeite societies now spans the globe, with one organization having approximately 80 regional clubs in North America.

Jane Austen, however, was a bit of a loner in her time, and the massive devotion of fans today probably would have baffled her.

What Was So Great About Jane Austen?

  • From ages 11 to 17, she worked on her well-regarded Juvenilia, a series of amusing stories and poems.
  • She had just one year of formal education yet wrote six highly regarded novels over seven years: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. The first four were published anonymously (“By a Lady”) during her lifetime.
  • Her work pokes fun at those focused on worldly goods or who did not practice what they preach. The stories are timeless because the characters within them exhibit the same emotions and have the same reactions as we do today.

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