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Items tagged with 'Jane Austen'

Review: Devoney Looser, The Making of Jane Austen (rev.)

A celebrated spiritual medium known as the ‘human telephone to the spirit world’ is not the sort of character one anticipates being discussed in a book about Jane Austen. Neither is a mid-nineteenth century anti-suffrage … Continue reading

Article: Imitation, Intertextuality and the Minerva Novel

Jane Austen’s famous reference to Ann Radcliffe and ‘all her imitators’ in Northanger Abbey can be understood both as a satirical characterisation of popular gothic novels and as a record of a historical mode of describing those same texts. This article provides a new reading of fictional ‘imitation’ in the Romantic period arguing that, as it was practised by Minerva Press novelists, it became a crucial fulcrum in the ongoing Romantic debate over the literary status of the novel. While charges of ‘imitation’ are often understood as derogatory, and were frequently deployed against the Minerva Press’s fiction by critics, looking closely at the novels in question suggests that many novelists used imitation quite deliberately as a literary strategy. This essay suggests that the fiction produced by Minerva’s novelists is deeply entwined with the press’s status as England’s highest-producing novel publisher, in that the form and function of Minerva novels stems from their collective identity: each novel is produced and consumed specifically as one of many—one of many narratives, but also one of many physical, circulating objects, lent, sold and exchanged between readers. Using allusions, parodic inversions, self-referential prefaces and a multitude of other narrative strategies, the novelists exploit the creative potential of their imitative parameters. Continue reading

Post: Teaching Romanticism XXXIII: Jane Austen, part 1

As part of this ongoing series on Teaching Romanticism we will consider the ways in which we lecture on and discuss individual authors, whether during author-specific modules or broader period surveys. I thought it would … Continue reading

Review: Daniel Cook and Nicholas Seager (eds), The Afterlives of Eighteenth-Century Fiction (rev.)

In April 2016, a research network dedicated to Authorship and Appropriation was inaugurated during an international conference on the subject at the University of Dundee, where not coincidentally this present volume was also launched. Cook … Continue reading

Article: ‘English verdure, English culture, English comfort’

This article shifts attention away from the perfections of England to explore the place of Ireland in Jane Austen’s Emma. Intrigued by Jane Fairfax’s refusal to travel with the Dixons in Ireland, Emma conjectures spitefully about an unrequited—or possibly consummated—affair between Jane and Mr Dixon. Obfuscating his actual affair with Jane, Frank Churchill uses Emma’s Irish conjectures to flirt with both women. Ireland becomes a repository of gothic potential over the course of Austen’s novel: a space upon which characters can map their unspoken and unspeakable desires. Austen accesses the Irish gothic to ask questions about national identity, legitimacy and power. Continue reading

Post: 5 Things to Read About… Jane Austen

Welcome to ‘5 Things’- a new blog series where Romanticists introduce us to their sub-fields by recommending 5 things we should read. Today Professor emerita Jocelyn Harris has kindly agreed to kick things off with … Continue reading

Report: A Grammar of Gothic: Report on a Research Project on the Forms of the Gothic Genre

The Northanger Library Project (HUM2006-03404) was a three-year state-sponsored project (2006–09) that sought to study the rise of gothic literature against the background of the ‘long’ eighteenth century in Britain. The central concern of the … Continue reading

Post: Teaching Romanticism II: Examination

I know, I know, this isn’t Christmassy. But it is timely. And, I promise, there will be poetry – oodles of the stuff – in the new year. In fact, if you read to the … Continue reading

Post: Ever, Jane: Becoming an Austen Heroine

By Jo Taylor Let me set the scene. Chawton, Hampshire, sometime in the 1810s. A modest, well-kept house in the centre of the village, lavender outside the window waving in the breeze. Someone playing the … Continue reading

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