If you've ever seen "Becoming Jane," you've been exposed to a few lies about the author's life. The truth is, no one really knew or cared about Jane Austen when she died at age 41 -- other than her immediate family and friends, of course. She'd published four novels then...all of them anonymously. Austen didn't achieve fame until many years after her death, in fact. So you can always hope for that, if things don't work out while you live.
This, and Other Dark Thoughts
If you have a bit of a dark streak, like I do, then that should serve as a sort of weirdly comforting thought. Jane Austen's books were written by "A Lady" as far as the reading public is concerned. Her brother Henry revealed her name only after she died, when he published "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey."
As you probably know, Jane Austen went on to become one of the most celebrated authors in history. She’s mentioned on “Jeopardy” every other week, no exaggeration, and you can find active Goodreads threads about her any time of day. She didn’t sign a bunch of autographs or see the love of her life at a reading of one of her books, or anything like that...but her words do live on. Her stories continue, and people born more than 100 years after her death still read them.
Lots of authors don’t find financial success or fame during their own lifetimes, yet they are still read today. More than one author who is now celebrated died broke and miserable, and they inspire new writers all the time. So maybe one day, you’ll be like Jane Austen, too.