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What matters in Jane Austen? : twenty crucial puzzles solved
2013
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A literary scholar poses twenty questions that reveal deep truths about the iconic writer and her lasting influence, demonstrating how Austen's genius can be better appreciated with an understanding of her books' character dynamics, unspoken sexuality, and period conventions. - (Baker & Taylor)

An acclaimed literary scholar poses 20 questions that reveal deep truths about the iconic writer and her lasting influence, demonstrating how Austen's genius can be better appreciated with an understanding of her books' character dynamics, unspoken sexuality and period conventions. By the author of How Novels Work. - (Baker & Taylor)

Mullan (English, U. College London, UK) answers specific questions about the social history, characters, and other aspects of Jane Austen's novels to reveal their cleverness. Each chapter refers to various novels and explores one question, such as how much age matters, whether sisters sleep together, what characters call each other, how the characters look, who dies in the novels, why weather is important, which important characters never speak, whether there is any sex in the novels, why her plots rely on blunders, what the characters read, the right and wrong ways to propose marriage, when Austen speaks directly to the reader, and how experimental a novelist she was. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) - (Book News)

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.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

John Mullan is a professor in the English department at University College London and the author of How Novels Work. He writes a popular column on fiction for the Guardian, and has served as a judge for the Man Booker Prize. Mullan lectures widely on Jane Austen around the world. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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