Barbara Hardy's A Reading of Jane Austen PDF

By Barbara Hardy

A analyzing of Jane Austen (first released via Peter Owen in 1975) has validated itself with critics and readers as an exceptional contribution to the starting to be literature in this writer, choked with clean and stimulating perceptions. primary to the note is Bar

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Sample text

The heroines and heroes are not specialists in feeling. Humours are reserved for the irrational. Jane Austen never thinks of her heroines as 'frail vessels', as George Eliot and Henry James did, and they are all capable of strengths of feeling. The feeling she is most concerned with is sexual love, but never exclusively. The course of true love defines the course of the passions in each novel, but she takes care to diffuse her passionate energies. The heroines and heroes are strong in family feeling, pity, jealousy, and various other less definable elations.

In neither form nor feeling do we find anything resembling Sir Edward Denham's Reason half-dethroned, but in both there is strong emotion or passion. Feelings may be private or secret but move eventually into relationships, passion finding resonance in reciprocity. Jane Austen is very far from 'knowing in apartness'. On the contrary, she blends thinking with feeling, valuing the passionate mind, showing its development as an outward movement towards outlets and unions. Although it is true that her strongest passions are usually solitary and private, inner and hidden, the conclusions and culminations of the novels make it plain that emotional solitude is an undesirable and painful deprivation.

It really was so. Without scruple—without apology—without much apparent diffidence, Mr. Elton, the lover of Harriet, was professing himself her lover. She tried to stop him; but vainly; he would go on, and say it all. Angry as she was, the thought of the moment made her resolve to restrain herself when she did speak. (E, p. ' cried Mr. —I never thought of Miss Smith in the whole course of my existence—never paid her any attentions, but as your friend: never cared whether she were dead or alive, but as your friend.

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