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Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets
     

Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets

by William Deresiewicz
 

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This elegant and thoughtful work offers an important new way of understanding Jane Austen by defining the fundamental impact and influence of British Romanticism on her later novels. In comparing the earlier and later phases of Austen's career, Deresiewicz addresses an important yet neglected issue regarding her work: the longstanding critical consensus that

Overview

This elegant and thoughtful work offers an important new way of understanding Jane Austen by defining the fundamental impact and influence of British Romanticism on her later novels. In comparing the earlier and later phases of Austen's career, Deresiewicz addresses an important yet neglected issue regarding her work: the longstanding critical consensus that Austen's last three novels (Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion) represent far greater artistic achievements than do her first three (Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice).

Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets offers a rich account of the differences between the two phases of Austen's career. In doing so, it contextualizes her later novels within the British Romantic movement and the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, and Byron. Through close readings of Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion, Deresiewicz reveals the importance of Romantic ideas in Austen's later work, considering the ways in which the novels investigate hidden mechanisms of psychic and affective life, including "substitution," "ambiguous relationships," and "widowhood." Deresiewicz's innovative approach and its emphasis on Romanticism opens up new perspectives on Austen's later novels by exploring their patterns of imagery, narrative logics, and social and historical dimensions.

Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Michael Caines
Comprehensive in its scope, ambitious in its aims.

Newsletter of the Jane Austen Society of North America - Beth Lau
This is an important, well-written book that makes a number of bold claims about Austen's work.

Times Literary Supplement
Comprehensive in its scope, ambitious in its aims.

— Michael Caines

Newsletter of the Jane Austen Society of North America
This is an important, well-written book that makes a number of bold claims about Austen's work.

— Beth Lau

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231134149
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/29/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Tobin Siebers
William Deresiewicz makes an elegant case for the idea that Jane Austen's encounter with the Romantic poets revolutionized her understanding of human existence. The complexity and wisdom of her late novels spring from a new conception of time, marginality, and loss that is thoroughly Romantic.

Susan Morgan
William Deresiewicz's finely written and brilliantly conceived exploration of the influence of the romantic poets on Jane Austen addresses with extraordinary historical precision and critical sensitivity an issue which up to now in Austen studies has only been touched on. I am delighted that someone has addressed the issue more fully at last. Deresiewicz's nuanced and complex readings will deepen the ways we have understood Austen's last three novels and revitalize the larger question of Austen's relations with her literary contemporaries. This is a extraordinarily eloquent and original book, a joy to read, one of the most significant studies of Austen's work to have come along. It will have a major influence on future directions in Austen studies.

Meet the Author

William Deresiewicz is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Yale University. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, the Nation, and the London Review of Books.

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