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What Matters in Jane Austen?

Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved

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Which important Austen characters never speak? Is there any sex in Austen? What do the characters call one another, and why? What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage? In What Matters in Jane Austen?, John Mullan shows that we can best appreciate Austen's brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction. Asking and answering some very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, he reveals the inner workings of their greatness.?

?In twenty short chapters, each of which explores a question prompted by Austens novels, Mullan illuminates the themes that matter most in her beloved fiction. Readers will discover when Austen's characters had their meals and what shops they went to; how vicars got good livings; and how wealth was inherited. What Matters in Jane Austen? illuminates the rituals and conventions of her fictional world in order to reveal her technical virtuosity and daring as a novelist. It uses telling passages from Austen's letters and details from her own life to explain episodes in her novels: readers will find out, for example, what novels she read, how much money she had to live on, and what she saw at the theater.?
Written with flair and based on a lifetime's study, What Matters in Jane Austen? will allow readers to appreciate Jane Austen's work in greater depth than ever before.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 01, 2012 – Virginia Woolf once remarked that of all great writers Jane Austen was the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness. If only she d had Mullan s delightful, though repetitive, book at hand, perhaps Woolf would have discovered the reasons that Austen remains among the greatest, yet most enigmatic, of English authors. Austen expert Mullan (How Novels Work), an English professor at University College London, cleverly captures the novelist s brilliance by answering a set of 20 questions ranging from unpromising ones such as How much does age matter? and Why is the weather important? to more seductive ones such as Do sisters sleep together? and Is there any sex in Jane Austen? that uncover the details that give Austen s novels their depth and lasting appeal. Through his answers, Mullan demonstrates that Austen introduced free indirect style to English fiction, filtering her plots through the consciousness of her characters, and perfected fictional idiolect, fashioning habits of speaking for even minor characters that rendered them utterly singular. In one amusing chapter, he provides many examples of the subtle ways that Austen requires the reader to think about sex. Mullan s humorous guidebook encourages first-time Austen readers to pick up her novels and lovers of Austen to re-read for new details.
What Matters in Jane Austen?
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Published: Jan 29, 2013
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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