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Why Jane Austen? A simple, yet complex answer…

By Gabrielle Lesage Around my friends I am known as the Austen Fanatic. Among my academic peers I am the Austen Enthusiast. I wear these titles with pride because Jane Austen has had a tremendous impact on my life. As often as we hear these words from devoted readers of Austen, I cannot help but repeat them once more: Jane Austen has had a huge impact on my life. Many people ask me why that is. How can one author, whose works have been published for more than 200 years, still resonate with me, a modern woman in a world filled with the hustle and bustle of a constantly evolving society? Many ask why I prefer to reread Pride and Prejudice instead of picking up a new book, or why I find myself admiring Austen’s heroes when there are countless dashing celebrities out to make the crowds go wild? I find myself always answering the same four words: Because it is Jane. Because Jane Austen is not just an author. Somehow she is more than a writer who has left us with her novels. Rather, she is a friend and confidant; someone who makes me question human behaviour. There is a timelessness to her human observations, and I cannot help but be amazed that we see these characters in our daily lives, even after centuries: we all know a Lady Catherine, someone who feels entitled and likes to get her way, and I am sure we all know a Fanny

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