Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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If you are happy reading Jane Austen’s novels as the Regency era love stories that I have always believed them to be, then don’t read this book. Jane's (sic) novels, in truth, (rhetorical device) are as revolutionary, at their heart, (if you, like me, are clever enough to be able to see it. She delves deep into the books but puts forth rather bizarre conclusions that it's hard not to see this book as more about herself and less about Austen and her novels.

The Northanger Abbey chapter was insightful about the use of the Gothic within that text, if I ever get around to actually reading the Mysteries of Udolpho, I intend to read both NA and the chapter here again. The relative impoverishment of some in Highbury is just glimpsed at the corners of Emma’s occluded vision.

Understand what a serious subject marriage was then, how important it was, and all of a sudden courtship plots start to seem like a more suitable vehicle for discussing other serious things. Helena Kelly sees this too and terms such ideas as radical, which is a very fair point because Austen was radical. This is followed by a chapter devoted to each of Jane’s novels and a final one looking at her death. Despite what Kelly suggests, I retain my right to believe that Edward and Eleanor could live happily ever after. The marriage plot is for Austen a Trojan horse, infiltrating her ideas into the reader’s consciousness without our fully realizing it.

The publicists didn’t help by branding the book as revolutionary; many of its ideas can be found in that neglected body of scholarship. Could Lady Catherine really be a sensible person to appoint Mr Collins to the living at her disposal and then actually welcome his irksome company?I'm not sure I agree with Kelly on any of her basic assertions but reading this book made me want to go back, reread all of Austen's books and look for Kelly's claims while doing so. To me this just undermined the many good points that the book was making and eventually it frustrated me to the point where I just didn't want to continue. I really feel Helena does provide plenty of information I hadn't previously considered at all, there ARE secrets that I, someone pretty darn interested in Jane, was surprised to read from Helena. The year 2016 belonged to Shakespeare; 2017 is Jane Austen’s, the 200th anniversary of her premature death.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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