Download A Companion to Jane Austen by Claudia L. Johnson, Clara Tuite PDF

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By Claudia L. Johnson, Clara Tuite

Reflecting the dynamic and expansive nature of Austen experiences, A better half to Jane Austen offers forty two essays from a exceptional staff of literary students that study the total breadth of the English novelist's works and profession.

  • Provides the main entire and updated array of Austen scholarship
  • Functions either as a scholarly reference and as a survey of the main cutting edge speculative advancements within the box of Austen reports
  • Engages at size with altering contexts and cultures of reception from the 19th to the twenty-first centuries

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Jane was 25 years old. She had to her credit three manuscript volumes of juvenile writings; she may also have written by now the epistolary novella Lady Susan; and we know she had three fulllength novels in draft, all to be published much later, and with unknown amounts of revision, as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. Mr Austen died suddenly in Bath in January 1805. After some uncertainty, various temporary lodgings, and extended visits elsewhere, the three Austen women, now joined by their friend Martha Lloyd, moved in March 1807 to Southampton, where they shared a house with Jane’s brother Frank and his young wife.

But we are not therefore right to dismiss what it is used to illustrate: the originality of her achievement. I take this originality, this perfection of style, to be her accomplished minimalism: what Miller calls her “curious self-fashioning into the selfless medium of Style” (Miller 2003: 106). For the early family biographers the style and look of the letters provided a code that legitimated as it moderated, and allowed them to feel comfortable with, Austen’s literary genius. In the family, the letters functioned as a cover, literally, for novel writing (AustenLeigh 2002: 173).

We hear it in their elliptical familiarity which gestures to the vital complicity between writer and recipient: “I must get a softer pen. – This is harder. I am in agonies” (Letters: 218); and in the antiphonal responses to now silent questions or in the piling of contextless scraps of news: I am to meet Harriot at dinner tomorrow . . On Tuesday there is to be a family meeting at Mrs C. Milles’s . . Louisa goes home on friday . . These are our engagements; make the most of them. – Mr Waller is dead, I see .

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