Jane Austen's Novels: The Art of Clarity

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Yale University Press, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 261 pages
2 Reviews
Although Jane Austen has long been England's best-loved novelist, much current criticism tends to ignore the appeal and accessibility of her novels and instead treats them as mere material--the preserve of academics, feminists, historical specialists, and would-be radical theorists. This book by Roger Gard is at once a thoughtful and detailed discussion of Jane Austen's oeuvre and a provocative and witty commentary that will stimulate all readers. Gard offers lively and perceptive discussions of the six major novels, together with the early Lady Susan and the unfinished Sanditon. The precise nature and scope of Jane Austen's realism, her particularly English approach to the world, and the characteristic blend in her work of a sharp skepticism about human nature and its banality with an idealism about human virtue are themes that recur throughout Gard's study. The book is moreover notable for the original and striking links it makes between Jane Austen and other authors ranging from Shakespeare to Flaubert, Lawrence, George Eliot, and Barbara Pym. Gard has something new to say in every chapter, and he says it with authority and style.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

Rating a book like this is somewhat difficult, because it depends in part upon audience. This is a book that defends ordinary readers of Jane Austen, but I would not say that it is a book for them ... Read full review

Jane Austen's novels: the art of clarity

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Gard (reader in English at Queen Mary and Westfield Coll., Univ. of London) has authored and edited several studies on Jane Austen and Henry James, including Jane Austen, Emma and Persuasion (Viking ... Read full review


Early Works Traditions and Critics
Northanger Abbey and Other Novels
Sense and Sensibility
Questions about Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park Fanny Price Flaubert and
Emmas Choices
Registers of Persuasion
Small Talk on Sanditon

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