Austen's Unbecoming Conjunctions

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Overview

This new work investigates the role that dissident comedy plays in Austen's writings. Using sexuality as a lens upon circa-1800 literary culture, this book emphasizes the physical life of Austen's heroines, and contributes to recent analyses of popular culture and material history. Heydt-Stevenson argues that Austen's novels explore the physical, erotic, humorous, and sometimes tragically funny, connotations of popular literature and commonplace books; of clothing, jewelry, and crafts; of travel and tourism. ...
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Overview

This new work investigates the role that dissident comedy plays in Austen's writings. Using sexuality as a lens upon circa-1800 literary culture, this book emphasizes the physical life of Austen's heroines, and contributes to recent analyses of popular culture and material history. Heydt-Stevenson argues that Austen's novels explore the physical, erotic, humorous, and sometimes tragically funny, connotations of popular literature and commonplace books; of clothing, jewelry, and crafts; of travel and tourism. Through an examination of Austen's humor and linguistic patterns, this book interrogates the stereotypes of women authors as culturally inhibited, and shows how Austen addressed as sophisticated and worldly an audience as Byron's.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a book that will forever change the way we read Jane Austen’s fiction. In a series of compelling and well-documented analyses, Jillian Heydt-Stevenson shows us that Austen’s work is replete with sexual jokes, bawdy humor, double-entendres, erotic puns. Moreover, she persuasively argues that for Jane Austen, the mind cannot be separated from the body: sense and sensibility, consciousness and physical sensations, thought and feeling, are inextricably fused.”— Anne K. Mellor, Romantic Circles

"Austen's Unbecoming Conjunctions is persuasive, engagingly written, and original in both detail and general argument."—Jocelyn Harris, Nineteenth-Century Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230602489
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Heydt-Stevenson is Assistant Professor of English in the departments of English and Comparative Literature/Humanities, University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : did Jane Austen really mean that? 1
1 Bejeweling and clandestine body/bawdy : the miniature spaces of Sense and sensibility 29
2 The anxieties and "felicities of rapid motion" : animated ideology in Pride and prejudice 69
3 Fashioning the body : cross-dressing, dressing, undressing, and dressage in Northanger abbey 103
4 Making and improving : fallen women, masquerades, and erotic humor in Mansfield park 137
5 "Praying to Cupid for a cure" : venereal disease, prostitution, and the marriage market in Emma 159
6 "Unbecoming conjunctions" : comic mourning and the female gaze in Persuasion 181
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