A to Z Challenge Blog

Jane Austen, A to Z: Inheritance

So I was wondering the other day, “Who owns the rights to Jane Austen’s works? Who gets the proceeds?”

Jane Austen did not have children. When she was alive, she didn’t make a lot of money from her novels. Her brother, Henry, helped her to publish her novels. When his bank failed, many family members lost a lot of money. After Jane’s death, Henry named her as the author in a posthumous publication of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.

The copyrights to her novels were owned by the publisher, Richard Bentley. However, all of Jane Austen’s works are public domain so no one owns Jane Austen anymore.

If you write a book or a movie that is somehow related to one of her novels but not her exact story, then your work is protected by copyright laws.

I’m adding a few links to articles about her descendants because I thought it was interesting.

New Legacy for Literary Works

Jane Austen’s Family Squabbles over House

How Much Was Jane Austen Paid for Some of History’s Best Books?

Jane Austen’s Fame and Fortune, Now and Then

Jane Austen’s Facts and Figures in Charts

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter


  1. Hello, fellow A-to-Zer! What an interesting question–and it seems to lead to other interesting things, too. Do you mean that during Jane Austen’s lifetime, no-one knew she’d written those books?
    Great post!

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