Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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In some places it was interesting, but the things Kelly spoke about just seemed very far fetched and the evidence thin and flimsy. Pride and Prejudice was, I felt, the weakest, as much of the analysis focuses on displaying for modern readers quite how much of an affront to rank their relationship really is and hammering home things that are glossed over in the movie adaptations, i.

Either hire a British narrator or let the American one just speak in her own voice, this switching to a really uncomfortable British accent every time a quote comes up is incredibly distracting. 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.Helena Kelly sees this too and terms such ideas as radical, which is a very fair point because Austen was radical.

Kelly is powerfully struck by the political content of Austen’s novels, as if she were the very first to stumble on it. So a book that combs through the novels looking for evidence of Austen’s radical heart finds a receptive audience here. What I did not expect on rereading this book was to be more impressed with it than I was the first time.Books do not need to be written to point out that we don't always appreciate everything that there is to appreciate. But I definitely think most of what was in this book was extremely relevant, as it completely changes the way some things are viewed. With all its folds and cavities, the key, the fingers, the fluttering and trembling, this looks a lot like a thinly veiled description of female masturbation.

The great chapters contained a unifying theory that brought together the historical context and the actual plot and actions of the characters: Northanger Abbey (where the childbirth stuff is contained, as well as some fascinating stuff about gothic novels), Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice were the standouts, followed pretty closely by the chapter on Persuasion. I loved this one too much to speak intelligently about it, though I loved the bit about the hazelnut. And I tell you what, I have read Austen for pleasure many times, and I have studied her both as an undergraduate, and in the course of my graduate work, and there was so much in here that I didn't know, that seriously changes the way I see some of what happens in her books. Different chapters look at subjects such as the failure of men to provide for their female relatives, the corruption of both the clergy and the nobility, the slave trade, and poverty and the corn laws.

She shows us that despite those who “stubbornly insist that despite using the word enclosure, Jane doesn’t really mean it”, at least two of Austen’s novels ( Mansfield Park and Emma) were engaged with the effects of the Enclosure Acts and their attendant dangers of poverty and misery. Kelly argues that Jane’s novels are much more than love stories – they are revolutionary and tackle subjects which would have been seen as highly controversial at the time they were written. This is a world in which parents and guardians can be stupid, and selfish; in which the Church ignores the needs of the faithful; in which landowners and magistrates are eager to enrich themselves even when this means driving the poorest into criminality. In Northanger Abbey, published after Austen's death and years too late for the audience it was intended for--readers who were well versed in the Gothic novel of the 1790s--Kelly sees "The Anxieties of Common Life. Unsurprisingly, despite some great historical context concerning slavery, Mansfield Park was one of the weaker ones, as even Kelly (who studies Austen for her job) seems unable to come up with a unifying theory for that book.

Having warned the reader about how little is known about Jane and her intentions, she then spends the remainder of the book second-guessing authorial intent and inserting fictionalised scenes of Jane's life that might have prompted her novels.An earl is indeed the third highest title in the British peerage after duke and marquess as Kelly states, but whilst there were less than 20 English dukedoms and a similar number of marquessates at the start of the Regency, there were decidedly more than ‘a handful’ of earls. Listening to the excellent Bonnets at Dawn podcast about Mansfield Park inspired me to download this book and read it at last. When discussing titles in the chapter on Pride and Prejudice, Kelly refers to Lady Catherine de Bourgh as the daughter of an earl and claims “there are no more than a handful of them in England.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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