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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

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Author: Kelly, Helena

Brand: Vintage

Color: White

Edition: Reprint

Number Of Pages: 336

Release Date: 03-04-2018

Details: Product Description A brilliant, illuminating reassessment of the life and work of Jane Austen that makes clear how Austen has been misread for the past two centuries and that shows us how she intended her books to be read, revealing, as well, how subversive and daring--how truly radical--a writer she was. In this fascinating, revelatory work, Helena Kelly--dazzling Jane Austen authority--looks past the grand houses, the pretty young women, past the demure drawing room dramas and witty commentary on the narrow social worlds of her time that became the hallmark of Austen's work to bring to light the serious, ambitious, deeply subversive nature of this beloved writer. Kelly illuminates the radical subjects--slavery, poverty, feminism, the Church, evolution, among them--considered treasonous at the time, that Austen deftly explored in the six novels that have come to embody an age. The author reveals just how in the novels we find the real Jane Austen: a clever, clear-sighted woman "of information," fully aware of what was going on in the world and sure about what she thought of it. We see a writer who understood that the novel--until then seen as mindless "trash"--could be a great art form and who, perhaps more than any other writer up to that time, imbued it with its particular greatness. Review “A sublime piece of literary detective work. . . . Kelly shows us that the novels were about nothing more or less than the burning political questions of the day.” —The Guardian “Do we read Jane Austen’s novels as she intended? In this riveting literary-biographical study, the answer is a resounding no . . . An interpretive coup that is dazzling and dizzying . . . You won’t read Austen the same way again.” —The New Yorker “A fresh take on the life and work of the beloved writer Jane Austen . . . Reveals the subversive rebel soul behind [the] towering classics.” —Elle“An important revisionary work. . . . Kelly’s readings are indeed eye-opening.” —The New York Times Book Review “Ambitious . . . illuminating, provocative. . . . Kelly offers a salutary argument for reading Austen’s novels with the serious attentiveness they invite and deserve.” —The Spectator About the Author HELENA KELLY grew up in North Kent. She has taught classics and English Literature at the University of Oxford. She lives in Oxford with her husband and son. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Everyone—almost everyone—loves Pride and Prejudice.* It regularly tops lists of the hundred most important or best-loved novels. The hero and heroine, Darcy and Elizabeth, have developed lives of their own, rather like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. They’ve become cultural icons in their own right, their relationship the ultimate in literary romance. I have a coffee mug that I was given a couple of Christmases ago. It’s one of a series that you can buy, “Classic novels abridged.” This one encapsulates the plot of Pride and Prejudice. “Mr Darcy is a proud man,” it reads. “Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t like him. They change their minds and get married. The end.” There is, of course, rather more to it than that. More than anything else, it’s the 1995 BBC television series of Pride and Prejudice that precipitated the current, two-decade-long period of intense, near-global obsession with Jane Austen. It’s this version that entered the cultural consciousness, creating such a strong hold for itself that when a member of the general public hears the title, the first image that appears in his or her mind is one that has no counterpart in the book: a sweaty Colin Firth stripping half-naked and diving into the lake at Pemberley. And there have been other very popular Pride and Prejudices since, lots of them: the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley; the Bollywoodized Bride and Prejudice; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Lost in Austen; Death Comes to Pemberley; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible. Even the “biopic” Becoming Jane

EAN: 9780525432944

Languages: English

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew