It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s novels are most appreciated while sipping tea and nibbling crumpets. Yet considerable controversy surrounds Austen’s six novels, their place in literary history, their cultural work and cultural capital. Scholarship includes books on "Austen and. . . " the French Revolution, queer studies, and game theory, along with Global Jane Austen . Questions abound: Is Austen, who first published as "A Lady," politically conservative, progressive, or radical? Is she a proto-feminist? Does she glorify the marriage plot or subvert it, and what narrative aspects provide the basis for each claim? What part do irony and free indirect discourse play in her sparkling style? Media commodification brings debates on the afterlife: Which group to join, idolizing (and fan fiction-writing) Janeites or academic Austenites? Was "Clueless" the best adaptation? What about the Bollywood or manga versions? We consider these issues and more while reading Pride and Prejudice , Mansfield Park , Emma , and Persuasion through the lenses of literature, gender studies, and cultural studies. Critics and theorists include F.R. Leavis, D.W. Harding, Lionel Trilling, Claudia Johnson, Edward Said, Mary Poovey, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Cornel West.