Synopses & Reviews
The editor has spelled out ampersands and made superscript letters lowercase. The novel, which is fully annotated, is followed by the two canceled chapters that comprise 's original ending. "Backgrounds and Contexts" collects contemporary assessments of Jane Austen as well as materials relating to social issues of the period. Included are an excerpt from William Hayley's 1785 "Essay on Old Maids"; Austen's letters to Fanny Knight, which reveal her skepticism about marriage as the key to happiness; Henry Austen's memorial tribute to his famous sister; assessments by nineteenth-century critics Julia Kavanagh and Goldwin Smith, who saw Austen as an unassuming, sheltered, "feminine," rural writer; and the perspective of Austen's biographer Geraldine Edith Mitten. "Modern Critical Views" reflects a dramatic shift in the way that twentieth-century scholars view both Austen and . Increasingly, the focus is on Austen's moral purposefulness and political acumen and on Persuasion's historical, social, and political implications. A variety of perspectives are provided by A. Walton Litz, Marilyn Butler, Tony Tanner, Robert Hopkins, Ann W. Astell, Claudia L. Johnson, and Cheryl Ann Weissman. A Selected Bibliography is also included.
This Norton Critical Edition reprints the 1818 text of the novel, as well as two chapters for it that were cancelled. Also included are a selection of Austen's letters pertaining to the novel and a number of critical interpretations.
Austen's last novel is the crowning achievement of her matchless career. Her heroine, Anne Elliot, a woman of integrity, breeding and great depth of emotion, stands in stark contrast to the brutality and hypocrisy of Regency England. Includes a new Introduction by Margaret Drabble, famed novelist and editor of The Oxford Companion to the English Language.
The text of this Norton Critical Edition is that of the first edition (dated 1818 but probably issued in late 1817), which was published posthumously.
About the Author
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature.Patricia Meyer Spacks, Ph.D. Berkeley, is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Her publications include An Argument of Images: The Poetry of Alexander Pope; The Female Imagination; The Adolescent Idea: Myths of Youth and the Adult Imagination; Desire and Truth: Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels; and Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind.