By Barbara Hardy
A interpreting of Jane Austen (first released through Peter Owen in 1975) has tested itself with critics and readers as a good contribution to the turning out to be literature in this writer, packed with clean and stimulating perceptions. imperative to the note is Bar
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Extra resources for A Reading of Jane Austen
To be a creepmouse might be to obey, or to retreat from publicity. Her diffidence makes it almost unimaginable for her to perform, compounded as it is of an integrity which cannot assume roles, and a fearfulness which dare not act in public. But her diffidence also partakes of her habitual gratitude and timidity. This refusal marks an important stage in her process of growing up, showing through action and symbol that she can shed servility. But Jane Austen makes it very difficult for us to chart her heroine's progress.
After Emma's insult she reflects painfully on what it is to be a bore; if she did not, Emma's offensiveness would not be so serious. It is not only her kindness and good nature, but the sense that we are given of an inner life, which makes her quite distinct from the humours of Richardson, Fanny Burney or even Dickens. It is such shadowed depths which make the fusion of major and minor characters successful. These creatures of comedy or satire are a little more than caricatures, and the surplus life makes a vast difference.
At the beginning of Sense and Sensibility (p. 25), and why Mr Knightley was so angry with Emma's idle expectations of Frank Churchill. Jane Austen uses explicitness and implication, unspectacularly and quietly. We have only to compare the thinness of the social dialogues in Fanny Burney, and even in Richardson, to see what density she adds to the psychology of the social scene. The social groups are variously structured. Jane Austen restricted her presentation and analysis of society, but her group-dramas often make implicit analyses of social response and interaction.
A Reading of Jane Austen by Barbara Hardy