Searching for Jane Austen

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 344 pages
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Searching for Jane Austen demolishes with wit and vivacity the often-held view of "Jane," a decorous maiden aunt writing her small drawing-room stories of teas and balls. Emily Auerbach presents a different Jane Austen—a brilliant writer who, despite the obstacles facing women of her time, worked seriously on improving her craft and became one of the world's greatest novelists, a master of wit, irony, and character development.
In this beautifully illustrated and lively work, Auerbach surveys two centuries of editing, censoring, and distorting Austen's life and writings. Auerbach samples Austen's flamboyant, risqué adolescent works featuring heroines who get drunk, lie, steal, raise armies, and throw rivals out of windows. She demonstrates that Austen constantly tested and improved her skills by setting herself a new challenge in each of her six novels.
In addition, Auerbach considers Austen's final irreverent writings, discusses her tragic death at the age of forty-one, and ferrets out ridiculous modern adaptations and illustrations, including ads, cartoons, book jackets, newspaper articles, plays, and films from our own time. An appendix reprints a ground-breaking article that introduced Mark Twain's "Jane Austen," an unfinished and unforgettable essay in which Twain and Austen enter into mortal combat.

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User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

An excellent book on the image vs the reality of Jane Austen. Emily Auerbach may be in danger of being drummed out of academia for writing a book that is so well-researched and so detailed, and yet so ... Read full review


Dear Aunt Jane Putting Her Down and Touching Her Up
Beware of Swoons Jane Austens Early Writings
Only Genius Wit and Taste Northanger Abbey
An Excellent Heart Sense and Sensibility
The Liveliness of Your Mind Pride and Prejudice
All the Heroism of Principle Mansfield Park
An Imaginist Like Herself Emma
The Advantage of Maturity of Mind Persuasion
Behold Me Immortal Finding Jane Austen Today
A Barkeeper Entering the Kingdom of Heaven Did Mark Twain Really Hate Jane Austen?
Full Text of Mark Twains Jane Austen
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2004)

Emily Auerbach is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, cohost of Wisconsin Public Radio's University of the Air, and director of the Courage to Write series of radio documentaries on brave women writers. She has won numerous teaching, broadcasting, and arts awards and has published books, guides, and articles on nineteenth-century literature. Auerbach holds a lifetime membership in the Jane Austen Society of North America.

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