A Jane Austen Companion: A Critical Survey and Reference by F B Pinion

By F B Pinion

A Jane Austen significant other: A serious Survey and Reference publication by way of F. B. Pinion 1973 Hardcover 342 pages together with Index Macmillian

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Fanny Price could not agree (MP. xxii). In parenthesis, it should be said that there is a noticeable inconsistency in Jane Austen's use of names. In the novels of early origin, titles for eminent characters such as Darcy and Bingley are often omitted. Among the characters, too, it is not just Lydia who speaks of 'Wickham', but also the estimable Mrs Gardiner. Marianne and her mother address Willoughby as 'Willoughby', whereas Elinor is quite formal in speaking to Edward Ferrars. The informal address can have important implications, from disapproval, it seems, to the warmest regard.

In the words of Alexander Pope, 'the genius of the place' had to be consulted. Instead of visible fencing to keep out sheep and cattle, there was a sunken wall (known as the 'ha-ha') on the inner side of a ditch between the garden and park. Near the house shrubberies were artfully disposed to screen less picturesque outbuildings or aspects of the house; trees were planted further off at carefully chosen sites to improve the views. On one side of the garden there might be a 'wilderness' or plantation of trees to provide varied walks and summer shade.

This event and the Napoleonic wars are the King Charles's head of such critics. 'What calm lives they had, those people! No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic wars', wrote Winston Churchill 2 with Pride and Prejudice in mind. Had he been more observant, or read Mansfudd Park or Persuasion, he would not have written as he did. More than a tincture of smug superiority towards Jane may be detected in Frederic Harrison's letters to Thomas Hardy; he describes her as 'a rather heartless little cynic .

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