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Emma (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series) / Edition 1

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This new edition of Jane's Austen's 19th-century British novel presents the 1816 text along with contemporary critical essays that introduce students to Emma from gender, new historical, Marxist, cultural, and feminist perspectives. An additional essay demonstrates how various critical perspectives can be combined. The text and essays are complemented by contextual documents, introductions (with bibliographies), and a glossary of critical and theoretical terms.

Author Biography: Alistair M. Duckworth is a professor of English at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312207571
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 9/24/2001
  • Series: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 638
  • Sales rank: 888,326
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Austen
Jane Austen's delightful, carefully wrought novels of manners remain surprisingly relevant, nearly 200 years after they were first published. Her novels -- Pride and Prejudice and Emma among them -- are those rare books that offer us a glimpse at the mores of a specific period while addressing the complexities of love, honor, and responsibility that still intrigue us today.


In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
About the Text
Part One: Emma: The Complete Text in Cultural Context

Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts
The Complete Text
Cultural Documents and Illustrations
  Dave Garrick, A Riddle
  Robin Adair
  Mary Wollestonecraft, from Unfortunate Situation of Females, Fashionably Educated, and Left without a Fortune (1787)
  Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield, from Letter to his Son (1750)
  Uvedale Price, from Essay on the Picturesque (1810)
  Robert Southey, from Our Domestic Policy No. 1 (1829)
  Opinions of Emma (Ca. 1816)
  Crossed Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra (June 20, 1808)
  The Frolics of the Sphinx (1820)
  Square Pianoforte (1805)
  A Barouche Landau (1805)
  George Lambert, A View of Box Hill, Surrey (1733)
  George Stubbs, The Lincolnshire Ox (1790)
Part Two: Emma: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism

A Critical History of Emma
Gender Studies and Emma 
  What Is Gender Studies?
  Gender Studies: A Selected Bibliography
  A Gender Studies Perspective:
    Claudia L. Johnson, “Not at all what a man should be!”:  Remaking English Manhood in Emma
Marxist Criticism and Emma
  What Is Marxist Criticism?
  Marxist Criticism:  A Selected Bibliography
  A Marxist Perspective:
    Beth Fowkes Tobin, Aiding Impoverished Gentlewomen: Power and Class in Emma
Cultural Criticism and Emma
  What Is Cultural Criticism?
  Cultural Criticism:  A Selective Bibliography
  A Cultural Critic's Perspective:
    Paul Delany, “A Sort of Notch in the Donwell Estate”: Intersections of Status and Class in Austen's Emma
The New Historicism and Emma
  What Is New Historicism?
  New Historicism:  A Selected Bibliography
  A New Historical Perspective:
    Peter Finch and Casey Bowen, “The Tittle-Tattle of Highbury”: Gossip and the Free Indirect Style in Emma
Feminist Criticism and Emma
  What Is Feminist Criticism?
  Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography
  A Feminist Perspective:
    Devoney Looser, “The Duty of Woman by Woman”:  Reforming Feminism in Emma
Combining Critical Perspectives on Emma 
  Combining Perspectives:
    Marilyn Butler, An Introduction to Emma
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms
About the Contributors

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