A Jane Austen statue has been unveiled to mark the 200th anniversary of her death, and we couldn’t love it more

We’re not sure what took the world so long, but a bronze statue of Jane Austen finally exists. The author was responsible for some of our ultimate favorite books, including (but not limited to) Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Without Austen, we wouldn’t have some of the most iconic pieces of literature — nor would we have the ’90s movie adaptations based around them. (Also, the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, which introduced us to Colin Firth.)

Austen passed away at the early age of 41 on July 18th, 1817. And, that date is important to remember — because today officially marks the 200th year since her death. To celebrate her historical importance, the statue was unveiled in Basingstoke, England.

We think it’s absolutely beautiful.

Sculpted by Adam Roud, the life-sized statue took around five months to complete. It’s just one part of a series being held to honor her life.

According to the website Jane Austen 200, Basingstoke was significant to Austen’s life. It’s been said that Austen danced at the Ball at the Basingstoke Assembly at the age of seventeen. CNN reports that Austen lived not too far away in Steventon, which is located in southern England.

In an interview with the sculptor, he discussed his vision for the piece.

"For the sculpture, I wanted a believable figure of a woman walking through the town square," he said to CNN. "No doubt I'll be praised by some and criticized by others."

Since the only known object that includes the likeness of Austen is a watercolor sketch that her sister Cassandra created, we can imagine that making a life-sized sculpture definitely required a lot of creativity.

But that’s not it. England has also launched a new £10 note which features Jane Austen.

Being featured on money is kind of a big deal, but it’s an honor that Austen truly deserves.

We’re so happy that such an inspirational woman is getting a bit of recognition. In fact, we’ll probably be re-reading her classics in order to celebrate her ourselves.