Our hardbacks of Jane Austen – The Secret Radical were a rapid sell-out, so we are delighted to welcome it back in soft cover!
Helena Kelly looks past the grand houses, the pretty young women, and the demure drawing room dramas and witty commentary on the narrow social worlds of her time to bring to light the serious, ambitious and deeply subversive nature of this beloved writer. Kelly illuminates the radical subjects – slavery, poverty, feminism, the Church, evolution – considered treasonous at the time, that Austen deftly explored in the six novels that have come to embody an age. The author reveals just how in the novels we find the real Jane Austen: a clever, clear-sighted woman “of information,” fully aware of what was going on in the world and sure about what she thought of it. We see a writer who understood that the novel – until then seen as mindless “trash” – could be a great art form and who, perhaps more than any other writer up to that time, imbued it with its particular greatness.