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A fascinating look into the myths that continue to shape our understanding and appreciation of Jane Austen.
Was Jane Austen the best-selling novelist of her time? Are all her novels romances? Did they depict the traditional world of the aristocracy? Is Austen’s writing easy to understand? Well into the 21st century, Jane Austen continues to be one of the most compelling novelists in all English literature. Many of her ideas about class, family, history, intimacy, manners, love, desire, and society, have inspired “myths” that are often contradictory — she was a Tory who was also a liberal feminist, or, her novels are at once sharply satirical and unapologetically romantic. Myths, like Austen’s works, are dynamic, changing over time and impacting how we read and interpret literature.
30 Great Myths about Jane Austen examines the accepted beliefs — both true and untrue –that have most influenced our readings of Austen. Rather than simply de-bunking, or validating, commonly-held views about Austen, authors Claudia L. Johnson and Clara Tuite explore how these myths can be used to engage with the life, work, and reception of Jane Austen. Applying the most up-to-date scholarship to better understand how myths shape our appreciation of Jane Austen, this fascinating volume:
Introduces readers to the history of Austen reception, both in academic scholarship and in the general public
Examines Jane Austen’s life and letters, her historical contexts, her texts, and their afterlives
Discusses Austen’s influence on the development of literary criticism as a discipline
Explores each of Austen’s main novels, as well as relatively obscure texts such as Sanditon and The Watsons
Offering engaging narrative and original insights, 30 Great Myths about Jane Austen is a must-read for scholars, instructors, and students of English and Romantic literature, as well as general readers with interest in the life and works of Jane Austen.