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Jane Austen is wasted on teenagers. It’s only now I fully appreciate her | Bidisha

Persuasion – my favourite Austen novel – has a lushly romantic conclusion. But it takes a grownup to see that sometimes there is no triumphant final act• Bidisha is a critic and author
Julia Davis as Elizabeth, Sally Hawkins as Anne and Amanda Hale as Mary in ITV’s 2007 Persuasion. Photograph: Nick Briggs/ITV/Rex Shutterstock

Despite having been dead for 200 years (come 18 July), Jane Austen’s career is going better than many living 41-year-old novelists I know. A stage adaptation of her last novel, , has just finished a run at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, and the Royal Literary Society featuring writing by Hilary Mantel and Margaret Atwood, and sketches by Grayson Perry. It seems that reading Austen is not enough; we’re forever drawn to writing about her and her world too, as recent books by, , and demonstrate. Worsley’s book, about the houses Austen stayed in, has also been made into a .

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