Little is known about the life of Jane Austen (1775-1817), but the legacy she left behind has been poured over by literary scholars, historians, filmmakers, and an enamored general audience for nearly two hundred years. Her books were originally published anonymously, and though they sold and were well-enough known, they were such a departure from the more flourished writing of the time that they were often criticized for being plain, though moral, and their significance was not understood. Some respected literary thinkers and philosophers did revere Austen’s work, including George Henry Lewes and, later, Henry James. Following the release of James Edward Austen-Leigh’s A Memoir of Jane Austen, in 1869, by the 1880s, a fervent fandom had developed around Austen, and her work found a wider audience as it began to be translated. Serious academic study of her work began that decade, and has not abated. Austen’s novels have been taken to stage and film, adapted for different genres, festivals are held around her. She is one of the most beloved and studied writers of all time.