Deirdre Le Faye, "Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels"

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Deirdre Le Faye, "Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels"

Deirdre Le Faye, "Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels"
Harry N. Abrams | 2002 | ISBN: 0810932857 | 320 pages | siPDF | 12.8 MB

Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion – all present delicately crafted contemporary observations of life in early nineteenth-century England. In Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels, renowned Austen scholar Deirdre Le Faye brings this world to life, imparting an understanding that enormously enriches our appreciation of the work of this best-loved of English novelists.

Le Faye begins with a meticulously researched overview of the period, from foreign affairs, fashion, and social ranks to transportation, candle etiquette, and sanitation practices. She goes on to consider each novel individually, explaining in detail its action, its setting, the reaction of public and critics, and Austen's own feelings about the book. The witty and pertinent illustrations, many never published before, allow the reader to visualize not only Austen and her surroundings, but also the people and places that appear in these beloved novels.

Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels is essential reading for students of literature and social history and for all Jane Austen enthusiasts who want to gain a new insight into her work.

From Publishers Weekly
When Jane Austen's novels were published, some readers dismissed them as "too natural to be interesting." Yet their very true-to-lifeness helped earn Austen (1775–1817) her place in the literary canon. Nearly 200 years later, many praise what Austen scholar (and obvious fan) Le Faye calls her ability to create the "sensation that we are visiting genuine places and joining in the lives of genuine people."

Le Faye (Jane Austen: A Family Record) argues that modern readers need a thorough explanation of Austen's milieu—Georgian and Regency Britain—in order to fully understand and enjoy her fiction. She provides just that by weaving together carefully researched biographical information, meticulously detailed descriptions of everything from social hierarchy to cosmetics and sanitation, as well as summaries of and contemporary reactions to Austen's novels. Color illustrations and maps provide further illumination, particularly the portraits suggesting what beloved characters such as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet might have looked like.

Although the volume comprises distinct sections of biography, history and criticism, the three are intermingled throughout. This generally succeeds at making the book more engaging, but sometimes Le Faye fails to clarify whether she's discussing Austen's siblings, Englishmen of no relation or fictional characters, which may frustrate readers who aren't that familiar with Austen's work. Despite this, and the fact that some points are almost painfully obvious—of course contraception and refrigeration have improved since 1817—this book is a worthy addition to the Austen fan's library. 100 illustrations, 80 in full color.


List of Maps

Part 1: The World Of Jane Austen
 Jane Austen and Her Family
  Steventon Today
  Connections to the Outside World
  The Austen Children
  Jane's Early Writings
  The First Three Novels
  The Bath Years
   Bath, the Tourist Spa
   Bath and the West Country
  Family Visits
  The Chawton Years
  First Publication
 England and the World
  Royalty and the Court
   The Regency
  Foreign Affairs
   North America in the Nineteenth Century
   Other Continents
  The Changing English Countryside
   Travel and Transport
   Spas, Touring and Picnics
  Social Ranks
  Masculine Occupations
   Naval and Military Life
   Clerical Life
  Male Education and Pursuits
  Male Fashions
  Feminine Occupations
  Female Fashions
  Social Activities
  Cultural Pursuits
   Letters, Diaries, Journals
   Drawing and Painting
   Needlework and Handicrafts
  Social Life
   Meals and Food
  Shops and Shopping
 A Sense of Place
  Stately Homes
  Cost of Living
  Fictional Houses
  Domestic Interiors

Part 2: The Novels
 Sense and Sensibility
 Pride and Prejudice
 Northanger Abbey
 The Watsons
 Mansfield Park

Further Reading
The Novels: Dates And Main Characters
Tags: JaneAusten, Literature, LiteraryCriticism, 19CEngland, History

Jane Austen, "Emma" (Norton Critical Editions), 3rd Edition

Jane Austen, "Mansfield Park" (Norton Critical Editions)

Jane Austen, "Pride and Prejudice" (Norton Critical Editions), 3rd Edition

John Sutherland, "Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fiction" 2 puzzles on Austen novels

Josephine Ross, "Jane Austen: A Companion"

Janet Todd (ed), "Jane Austen in Context (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen)"

Sue Birtwistle & Susie Conklin, "The Making of Pride and Prejudice"

Julia Prewitt Brown, "A Reader's Guide to the Nineteenth-Century English Novel"

Ian Gregor (ed), "Reading the Victorian Novel: Detail into Form"

Emma Thompson, "The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film"

John Sutherland & Deirdre Le Faye, "So You Think You Know Jane Austen? A Literary Quizbook (World's Classics)"

Daniel Pool, "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England"

John Sutherland, "Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? Further Puzzles in Classic Fiction (World's Classics)" 3 puzzles on Austen novels

Kristine Hughes, "The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England"