Synopses & Reviews
How did Jane Austen come to write six novels that are still widely regarded as some of the highest achievements of the genre? The answer lies in understanding what Austen read, and how she read it. Jane Austen the Reader shows how the books Austen read - and the critical way in which she read them - influenced her writing, and her artistic innovations. Austen's steadfast belief in the possibilities of fiction sustained her through early rejection and disappointment, and led to the creation of some of literature's masterpieces. Austen devoured drama, history, poetry and novels, but it was not just as a passive consumer looking for entertainment, nor as a writer searching for ideas that Austen engaged with literature. Rather, she was a critical reader - investigating and evaluating literature, and articulating in her own works her vision of what the novel could be.
About the Author
Olivia Murphy is a Teaching Fellow at the Women's College, University of Sydney, Australia, having recently completed a doctorate in English Literature at the University of Oxford, UK.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Jane Austen the Reader
1. Jane Austen, Criticism and the Novel in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
2. What's not in Austen? Critical Quixotry in 'Love and Friendship' and Northanger Abbey
3. Texts and Pretexts: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
4. Reading Criticism in Mansfield Park
5. Emma and the 'Plan of a Novel'
6. Persuasion and the Last Works
7. Appendix: What Happened to Jane Austen's Books?