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Jane Austen News – Issue 72

The Jane Austen News is keen to get gardening!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

  The Mother of the Modern Novel

Professor Kathryn Sutherland is keen to see Jane Austen praised, not as the queen of romance novels, but rather “as a pioneer — the inventor of the modern novel, the first English novelist to explore the effect of contemporary war on the home front, and a businesswoman prepared to stake all on fame and fortune.”

“Austen’s novels broke new ground in subject matter and style. She saw that everyday events in ordinary places could be the stuff of fiction. But she saw far more. One of her greatest contributions to literature was a way of writing, centred on the heroine, that recognises the longing in each one of us to grow, to change, to become other. Her heroines have inner lives, represented on the page as a kind of conversation with the self.”

Those who say that Jane is just a romance novelist couldn’t be more wrong. It’s easy to forget, this many years down the line, and with so many new genres and novel formats on the shelves, how revolutionary Jane’s novels were; how unique they were in style. Happily Professor Sutherland is hoping to change that with….


A New Book From Kathryn Sutherland

To accompany the new exhibition which Professor Sutherland is curating in Oxford at Weston Library from June 22nd – October 29th  (called Which Jane Austen?) she has released a new book.

Jane Austen: Writer in the World: Novelist in the World is a collection of essays which offer an intimate history of Austen’s art and life – told through objects associated with her personally and with the era in which she lived.

Further on in the book, the exploration of yet more objects – the Regency novel, newspaper articles, naval logbooks, and contemporary political cartoons – reveals Austen’s filiations with wider social and political worlds. These ‘things’ map the threads connecting her (from India to Bath and from North America to Chawton) to those on the international stage during the wars with France that raged through much of her short life.

 

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 72

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Oxford World’s Classics: Pride and Prejudice- A Review

Oxford Pride and Prejudice CoverPride and Prejudice By Jane Austen A Review by Ellen Moody Gentle readers, here we are again, with diptych reviews of what turns out to be a reissue by Oxford in 2008 of its 2004 edition of Pride and Prejudice. I have complemented Laurel Ann’s review (from Austenprose). Laurel Ann’s review will give an overview of the novel, while I will focus on this particular edition and Pride and Prejudice’s overall popularity. As before, I must agree with Laurel: the latest Oxford Pride and Prejudice is not quite as good a buy as the latest Oxford Sense and Sensibility. The two have exactly the same supplemental materials: brief biographical note, bibliography, chronology, and (by Vivien Jones) appendices on rank and social status and on dancing. The difference is the introduction and explanatory notes are by Fiona Stafford. So this Oxford half-way house series (half-way between those series which have an overload and those which have too bare an apparatus) does not tailor each edition to the specific novel. The publisher may assume their readers will not buy all six books, but the reader minded to do so will buy the same supplementary materials six times [1]. Fiona Stafford’s explanatory notes are full and very helpful; but her introduction is disappointing because much of it (to be fair, not all), and its central perspective rehashes the many times previously-discussed theme of misleading first impressions, preconceived judgements, and slow self-recognition, for which (to take just one previous example), Tony Tanner’s essay provides (more…)
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