Jessica A. Volz’s latest book, Visuality in the Novels of Austen, Radcliffe, Edgeworth and Burney (London and New York: Anthem Press, March 2017), examines how four famed women novelists publishing their oeuvres in Britain between 1778 and 1815 used visuality – the continuum linking visual and verbal communication – to achieve a degree of rhetorical freedom in a way that concealed resistance within the limits of language.
In contexts dominated by inexpressibility, penetrating gazes and the perpetual threat of misinterpretation, Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, Maria Edgeworth and Frances Burney used references to the visible and the invisible to comment on emotions, socio-economic conditions and patriarchal abuses. This title offers new insights into the evolution of strategic/diplomatic communications and women’s rights during a period shaped by revolutions, empires in transition, the Enlightenment and changing attitudes towards freedom of expression. Caroline Jane Knight, Jane Austen’s fifth great niece, contributed the foreword. The cover features a painting by Mary Moser, one of the Royal Academy’s two founding female members.
To further pique your interest, check out the author’s article on caffeine and courtship in Pride and Prejudice for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation’s blog, Pride & Possibilities.
Dr Jessica A. Volz is an independent British literature scholar and international communications strategist. She was recently named an ambassador of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. Her favourite tea is ‘Jane Austen Blend’.
Click here to purchase Visuality in the Novels of Austen, Radcliffe, Edgeworth and Burney (available in hardcover and e-book editions).