Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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Radical, by the way, has a bit of a different usage here, in that it mostly means someone who is open to new ideas, and to rejecting the old if that is the right thing to do. Could Lady Catherine really be a sensible person to appoint Mr Collins to the living at her disposal and then actually welcome his irksome company? Mansfield Park is about "The Chain and the Cross," referring to Fanny's amber cross from her brother and the chain gifted her by her cousin Edmund. When Kelly is discussing Willoughby’s visit to the Dashwoods in Sense and Sensibility when he believes Marianne to be dying, Kelly states that Willoughby “turns up at what he thinks is Marianne’s death-bed intoxicated (‘yes, I am very drunk’)”(3), quoting Willoughby’s own words.

However, she totally disregards his next words – ‘A pint of porter with my cold beef at Marlborough was enough to over-set me’(4) – indicating that he was being sarcastic and most definitely in his right mind and not drunk. In some places it was interesting, but the things Kelly spoke about just seemed very far fetched and the evidence thin and flimsy.After all, Pride and Prejudice was originally described as being ‘by the author of Sense and Sensibility’(1) not the authoress. She delves deep into the books but puts forth rather bizarre conclusions that it's hard not to see this book as more about herself and less about Austen and her novels. Despite reading all of Austen's works, many of them several times, I'd never considered Austen through any of the lenses Kelly presented.

I was just sort of expecting a fun book where the author points out passages in Austen's work that add credibility to the idea that Jane Austen was a radical thinker for her time. Jane's (sic) novels, in truth, (rhetorical device) are as revolutionary, at their heart, (if you, like me, are clever enough to be able to see it. What should we make,” Kelly continues, “of the fact that Fanny’s two sisters fight over possession of a silver knife and that one of Fanny’s first actions after arriving back in Portsmouth is to make sure they each have one?

Uncovering a radical, spirited and political engaged Austen, Jane Austen, The Secret Radical will encourage you to read Jane, all over again. Kelly's work putting Austen's work into more of a historical and political context than is often found. She shows us that despite those who “stubbornly insist that despite using the word enclosure, Jane doesn’t really mean it”, at least two of Austen’s novels ( Mansfield Park and Emma) were engaged with the effects of the Enclosure Acts and their attendant dangers of poverty and misery. Anyone who has seriously read Austen knows that's bunk, and that she was a very smart woman who wrote with care to her craft, and who packed a wallop of a biting undertone if you were really paying attention.

e. far more into romantic notions than what was good for me, so the chapter has special interest to me. While Kelly is making her claims about the subtexts that have evaded previous critics, Austen admirers will keep noticing little mistakes about what is going on in the novels. It’s a pity that the weakest chapter—about Northanger Abbey—comes first, and that its greatest weakness, a fondness for reading sexual imagery into the text, is repeated in the second chapter.When Catherine Morland excitedly unfastens a locked cabinet in Northanger Abbey, Kelly finds something more than a delicious parody of gothic convention. In the chapter on Sense and Sensibility, Kelly suggests that Jane was indirectly criticising the men in her family for failing to provide adequately for the women who were dependent on them – Jane, her sister Cassandra, and their mother. Another of Jane's sisters-in-law collapsed and died suddenly at the age of thirty-six; it sounds very much as if the cause might have been the rupturing of an ectopic pregnancy, which was, then, impossible to treat. It’s a rare talent to be able to stand outside received wisdom and see familiar material with fresh eyes; Kelly is a pure outside-the-box thinker.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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