As March 8th was International Women’s Day, here’s to you, Jane Austen, for you influence on so many lives.
I think it would be interesting to take a trip through time, to learn Jane Austen’s view on how her stories have come to life, and many lives she has touched.
As was the custom of female authors in her time, Jane Austen published anonymously. The first edition run was 250 copies, according to an auction website. Jane Austen was not truly recognized for her work for nearly 50 years, when, in 1870, her nephew published “Memoirs of Jane Austen.”
Today, it is estimated that over 20,000,000 copies of Pride and Prejudice have been sold worldwide.
In 1832, the first U.S. publication was made of Austen’s work, and by 1870, there was a distinct response in the U.S. to her work.
It was only 10 years ago when I became a JAFF addict. I began reading stories written by JAFF authors using Austen’s beloved characters. Such names as Sharon Lathan, Regina Jeffers, Kara Louise, Linda Berdoll, and Linda Wells gave me some of the first JAFF works I read.
Now, in 2015, thanks to the world of Internet and social media, we are able to reach further than could ever have been dreamed of before.
From Jane Austen publishing anonymously, too few publishers giving a second look at JAFF stories, we now have individual publishing companies, and programs through Amazon and Nook for self publishing.
We have forums were we can share our thoughts, our stories, learn from others in the area. Groups such as DarcyandLizzy.com, Beyond Austen, and A Happy Assembly reach fans worldwide.
Many of us in the genre have our own blogs (yes, even I do). We are all over Facebook and Twitter, Austen Authors, Austen Variations, and more.
Then there are movies, based on Austen’s work or influenced by her stories, and audiobooks.
But we addicts of the 21st century are not stopped there. We have dolls, jewelry, bookmarks, tea blends, soaps, and even bandages.
So, with all the changes in the JAFF world, what is your opinion? Are we a passing fancy which will fizzle and die? Or will we continue to grow, keeping our beloved characters living for centuries to come?
And what would Jane Austen think, if she were alive today, seeing our passion for her stories and characters? Personally, I wish I could meet her and thank her personally for all she has brought to my life, nearly 200 years after her death. And I wish she could have enjoyed knowing, in her life, the influence she would have on the world.
In honor of my newest release, On the Road to Ramsgate, I will be giving away a copy of the Kindle version.