Virginia Pasley has a lovely article in The Atlantic linking Bridget Jones to Jane Austen. Borrowing ideas from earlier writers is a time-honored pastime. Ask Adam Smith—the "invisible hand" and the "pin factory" both have long lineages and were not Smith's inventions. Austin's books are not in copyright, which also provides an incentive to borrow.
Pasley gave this quote from Emma that certainly resounds with Smith's moral sentiments:
Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations that a young person who either marries or dies is sure of being kindly spoken of.
[Virginia Pasley is my talented cousin.]