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Main page » Non-Fiction » An Introduction to Jane Austen

An Introduction to Jane Austen


Jane Austen is unique among British novelists in maintaining her popular appeal while receiving more scholarly attention now than ever before. This innovative introduction by a leading scholar and editor of her work explains what students need to know about her novels, life, context and reception. Each novel is discussed in detail, and all the essential information about her life and literary influences, her novels and letters, and her impact on later literature and culture is covered. While the book considers the key areas of current critical focus its analysis remains thoroughly grounded in readings of the texts themselves. Janet Todd outlines what makes Austen's prose style so innovative and gives useful starting points for the study of the major works, with suggestions for further reading. This book is essential for all students of Austen, as well as for readers wanting to deepen their appreciation of the novels.




1. Life and times

2.The literary context

3. Northanger Abbey

4. Sense and Sensibility

5. Pride and Prejudice

6. Mansfield Park

7. Emma

8. Persuasion


 “Charlotte Bronte memorably wrote that Austen avoided the passions, that she rejected ‘even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood’ Although in a mode quite different from Bronte, Jane Austen – sometimes ironic, rarely unrestrained – has nonetheless become for me on this latest rereading a writer about passion. I am not suggesting that she unequivocally celebrates it but that, through her representation of character, she reveals a fascination with its literary construction and narcissistic power – and at times its absurdity.”

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Tags: Austen, novels, selfhood, particularly, female, Introduction, rsquo, universal, contributing