Jane Austen significantly shaped the development of the English novel, and her works continue to be read widely today. Though she is best known for her novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion, she also wrote poems, letters, prayers and various pieces of juvenalia. These writings have been attracting the attention of scholars; her major works have already generated a large body of scholarly and critical studies. This reference is a guide to her works and the response to them. Austen's works are fraught with ambiguity. Because she was adept at displaying numerous aspects of an issue, her writings invite multiple interpretations. In light of the ambiguity of her texts, each of her major works is approached from a reader-response perspective, in which an expert contributor illuminates the reader's relationship to her writing. And because so many readers have had such varied responses to her novels, the volume also includes chapters summarizing the critical response to each of her major works. In addition, the book includes separate chapters on her poems, letters, and prayers.
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