Dear Miss Austen,
In celebration of your 240th birthday–though I suppose a lady would not like to reveal her age–my gift to you would be to tell you about your legacy. (Though it is actually a gift you gave yourself.) Through your books, you have achieved a certain type of immortality. They have become movies and musicals, and you yourself have even become the heroine of novels and movies. You have awakened the creativity of other writers, and you have shown generations of women what a true gentleman ought to be.
And I would like you to know that women no longer have to marry for reasons other than love. We are free to follow our hearts, just as you dreamed.
That knowledge is my birthday gift to you, if only I could tell you.
Reposted from a previous celebration of Miss Austen’s birth.