Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets

William Deresiewicz

Columbia University Press

Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets

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Pub Date: January 2005

ISBN: 9780231134149

240 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: January 2005

ISBN: 9780231508704

240 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets

William Deresiewicz

Columbia University Press

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.
Comprehensive in its scope, ambitious in its aims. Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement
This is an important, well-written book that makes a number of bold claims about Austen's work. Beth Lau, Newsletter of the Jane Austen Society of North America
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Early Phase Versus Major Phase: The Changing Feelings of the Mind
3. Mansfield Park: Substitution
4. Emma: Ambiguous Relationships
5. Persuasion: Widowhood and Waterloo
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About 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.