During the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death in 2017, the narrative of Austen’s rise to fame and her ongoing celebrity circulated throughout modern culture. But how did this happen? When Austen died in 1817, it was not obvious that Austen would become the archetypal British woman writer. Frances Burney was far more famous in her lifetime than Austen was in hers, and Burney’s novels (particularly Evelina and Cecilia) achieved as much, if not more, critical acclaim than Austen’s works. By comparing the afterlives of Jane Austen and Frances Burney, the factors that shape legacy come into focus—and scholars can use some of these factors to shape the legacy of British women writers today.
legacy, popular culture, literary criticism, Austen, Burney
"Why Austen, not Burney? Tracing the Mechanisms of Reputation and Legacy,"
ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830: Vol.13: Iss.1, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/abo/vol13/iss1/6