Table of Contents



Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture

Title page

Copyright page

List of Figures

Notes on Contributors

List of Abbreviations

A Note to the Reader



Part I: The Life and the Texts

1 Jane Austen’s Life and Letters



2 The Austen Family Writing: Gossip, Parody, and Corporate Personality

3 The Literary Marketplace

Overview of the Marketplace

Editions and Costs


Reviews and Readership

4 Texts and Editions

The Earliest Editions, Britain and America, 1811–33

The Bentley Years, 1832–93

The Growing Market 1840–1923

R. W. Chapman and the Oxford Edition, 1923

The Rise of the Student Edition

The Cambridge Edition

5 Jane Austen, Illustrated

Part II: Reading the Texts

6 Young Jane Austen: Author

7 Moving In and Out: The Property of Self in Sense and Sensibility

8 The Illusionist: Northanger Abbey and Austen’s Uses Of Enchantment

“. . . Her Chief Profit Was In Wonder”

The Lady Vanishes

9 Re: Reading Pride and Prejudice: “What think you of books?”

Volume I. Reading the Markets

Volume II. Prejudice and First Impressions

Volume III. Romance and Reading

10 The Missed Opportunities of Mansfield Park




11 Emma: Word Games and Secret Histories

12 Persuasion: The Gradual Dawning

13 Sanditon and the Book

Part III: Literary Genres and Genealogies

14 Turns of Speech and Figures of Mind

Northanger Abbey: Missing Similes

Sense and Sensibility: Broken Synecdoche

Abstraction and physical contacts: Pride and Prejudice

The Hyperbolists: Mansfield Park

Riddles and Refreshment: the Art of Emma

The Mirror and the Nut: Persuasion

15 Narrative Technique: Austen and Her Contemporaries

16 Time and Her Aunt




17 Austen’s Realist Play




18 Dealing in Notions and Facts: Jane Austen and History Writing

19 Sentiment and Sensibility: Austen, Feeling, and Print Culture

Communicating Sensibility: The Social Effects of Print Culture

Austen on Print and Sensibility: The Letters and The Novels

Ways of Reading: Austen, Feeling and the Uses of Books

Conclusion: Conversation and the Possibilities of Print

20 The Gothic Austen

When is a House a Castle?

No Joking Matter

The Unthinkable

Part IV: Political, Social, and Cultural Worlds

21 From Politics to Silence: Jane Austen’s Nonreferential Aesthetic

22 The Army, the Navy, and the Napoleonic Wars



23 Jane Austen, the 1790s, and the French Revolution

24 Feminisms

“Feminist” Austen

Post-Revolutionary Gender Politics

Postfeminist Austen?

25 Imagining Sameness and Difference: Domestic and Colonial Sisters in Mansfield Park

Body Trade


26 Jane Austen and the Nation

27 Religion

28 Family Matters

29 Austen and Masculinity

30 The Trouble with Things: Objects and the Commodification of Sociability







31 Luxury: Making Sense of Excess in Austen’s Narratives

At Gray’s in Sackville Street: A Toothpick Case and a Negotiation

Pineapples in Gloucestershire

The Windows of Bath

The Work of Luxury in Austen’s Novels

32 Austen’s Accomplishment: Music and the Modern Heroine




33 Jane Austen and Performance: Theatre, Memory, and Enculturation

The Immortality of a Twelvemonth

The Constancy of Siddons

The Theatrical Reader

Part V: Reception and Reinvention

34 Jane Austen and Genius

35 Jane Austen’s Periods

Sleeping Beauty

Periods upon Periods

36 Nostalgia

37 Austen’s European Reception



Influence of Films and Screen Adaptations


38 Jane Austen and the Silver Fork Novel

39 Jane Austen in the World: New Women, Imperial Vistas

The Book Code

Into the Glimmering World: Empire as Escape

In the Bookstore: The Postcolonial Jane Austen

40 Sexuality

41 Jane Austen and Popular Culture

42 Austenian Subcultures



“While other companions provide scholarly summary-context and assessment-as a starting place for further research, this companion seems more individualized … A Companion to Jane Austen offers the useful charms of knowledge, stimulation, judgment.”

1650–1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era

“The advantage is that the chapters tend to be manageable, clear, and focused – perfect, in fact, for assigning to undergraduate and beginning graduate students. I for one certainly plan on doing that. After all, one of the charms of enchantment is that it can be contagious.”

Notes and Queries

“How is it that fresh perspectives on Austen and her writing are still being thought up? Johnson and Tuite answer that the study of Austen today is a “diverse, expansive, excitable and critical life-form”, growing and changing with new audiences and approaches to literary criticism. Arranged in five parts, this Companion covers the style and genre of her novels, including the history of manuscripts, editions and illustrations (with 13 black-and-white facsimiles); individual readings of the main texts, looking at how Austen was initially received by critics and readers alike and the success of Pride and Prejudice; Austen’s literary style and technique, showing how the author used language and who she was influenced by; the political, social and cultural settings of her novels, discussing the French Revolution and feminism; and how Austen has been “reinvented” by different generations, from the “silver fork” novel of the Victorian era to “sexed-up” television adaptations of our screens today.”

Reference Reviews

Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture

This series offers comprehensive, newly written surveys of key periods and movements and certain major authors, in English literary culture and history. Extensive volumes provide new perspectives and positions on contexts and on canonical and post-canonical texts, orientating the beginning student in new fields of study and providing the experienced undergraduate and new graduate with current and new directions, as pioneered and developed by leading scholars in the field.

Published Recently

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66. A Companion to Crime FictionEdited by Charles Rzepka and Lee Horsley
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70. A Companion to American Literature and CultureEdited by Paul Lauter
71. A Companion to African American LiteratureEdited by Gene Jarrett
72. A Companion to Irish LiteratureEdited by Julia M. Wright
73. A Companion to Romantic PoetryEdited by Charles Mahoney
74. A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American WestEdited by Nicolas S. Witschi
75. A Companion to Sensation FictionEdited by Pamela K. Gilbert
76. A Companion to Comparative LiteratureEdited by Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas
77. A Companion to Poetic GenreEdited by Erik Martiny
78. A Companion to American Literary StudiesEdited by Caroline F. Levander and Robert S. Levine
79. A New Companion to the GothicEdited by David Punter

For a full list of titles available in the Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture series, please visit

Title page

List of Figures

5.1 Mansfield Park (London: Richard Bentley, 1833), frontispiece and engraved title page, by William Greatbatch after Pickering. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

5.2 Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (London: Chapman & Hall, 1872), front and back boards. Matheson Library, Monash University.

5.3 Mansfield Park (London: Groombridge, 1875), illustration by A. F. Lydon. University of New South Wales Library.

5.4 Mansfield Park (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1922), frontispiece and engraved title page, by Charles E. Brock.

5.5 Pride & Prejudice (London: George Allen, 1895), headpiece and ornamental capital letter on p.89, by Hugh Thomson. Dover Publications, Inc. (Image reproduced from modern facsimile edition.)

5.6 Mansfield Park (London: Macmillan and Co., 1897), p.54, illustration by Hugh Thomson.

5.7 Pride and Prejudice (London: Macmillan & Co., 1895), p.161, illustration by Charles E. Brock.

22.1 James Gillray, Fatigues of the Campaign in Flanders, Lewis Walpole Library – 793.5.20.1+.

25.1 Josiah Wedgwood anti-slavery medallion, Am I Not a Man and a Brother? The British Museum.

25.2 Am I Not a Woman and a Sister? Wilberforce House Museum, Hull City Council, UK.

25.3 Isaac Cruikshank, The Abolition of the Slave Trade, published April 10, 1792 by S. W. Fores No 3 Picca. engraving BM 8079, The British Museum.

25.4 The Rabbits, published October 8, 1792 by Robt Sayer & Co, Fleet Street, London, engraving BM 8217, The British Museum.

37.1 Output of new translations of Austen’s works, 1905–2004 (excluding extracts, reprints, reissues).

Notes on Contributors

Nancy Armstrong is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is the author of Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel; Fiction in the Age of Photography: The Legacy of British Realism; How Novels Think: The Limits of Individualism 1719–1900, and (with Leonard Tennenhouse), The Imaginary Puritan: Literature, Intellectual Labor, and the History of Personal Life. She is also the editor of the journal NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction.

Barbara M. Benedict is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English Literature at Trinity College, CT. She has written three monographs: Framing Feeling: Sentiment and Style in English Prose Fiction, 1745–1800 (1994); Making the Modern Reader: Cultural Mediation in Early Modern Literary Anthologies (1996); and Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early Modern Enquiry (2001). She has edited Eighteenth-Century British Erotica, 1700–1800, Vol. 4: Wilkes and the Late Eighteenth Century, and coedited (with Deidre LeFaye) Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (2006).

Linda Bree is the Literature Publisher at Cambridge University Press and author of a number of books and articles on eighteenth-century writers. She is editor of Persuasion (1998), and coeditor (with Janet Todd) of the Later Manuscripts volume (2008) in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen.

Fiona Brideoake is a Research Fellow in English Literary Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her current research includes work on Bluestocking sociability, Austen fan cultures, and queer historiography. She has published on the Ladies of Llangollen and Shakespearean filmmaking, and is revising a book entitled “The Future Arrives Late”: Queering the Ladies of Llangollen.

Miranda Burgess is Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. She works on Romantic-period literary history and on the histories of genre, print culture, and reading. Her book British Fiction and the Production of Social Order, 1740–1830 (2000) traced the uses of genre change in developing theories of British society and nationhood across the eighteenth century. She is completing a manuscript titled Romantic Transport: Printing, Reading, and Feeling, 1790–1830, which explores the media contexts of Romantic affect and their sources in contemporary problems of transnational exchange, with a special focus on Ireland.

Laura Carroll teaches English at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her research interests include literary adaptation, the afterlife of Jane Austen, and representations of animals in literature and film. She has published essays on Austen, Shakespeare, James Thurber, and Australian cinema.

E. J. Clery is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at the University of Southampton, UK. She is the author of The Rise of Supernatural Fiction 1762–1800 (1995), Women’s Gothic from Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley (2000), and The Feminization Debate in Eighteenth-Century England: Literature, Commerce and Luxury (2004).

Deirdre Coleman is Robert Wallace Chair of English at the University of Melbourne. Her research centers on eighteenth-century literature and cultural history, focusing in particular on racial ideology, colonialism, natural history, and the antislavery movement. She has published in ELH, Eighteenth-Century Life, and Eighteenth-Century Studies, and is the author of Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery (2005).

Edward Copeland is Professor Emeritus of English, Pomona College, Claremont, CA. He is the author of Women Writing About Money: Women’s Fiction in England, 1790–1820 (1995), and editor of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (2006). He is currently preparing a book-length study of the silver fork novel and its cultural and political presence in the reform years.

Nicholas Dames is Theodore Kahan Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he specializes in British and French fiction of the nineteenth century. He is the author of Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810–1870 (2001) and The Physiology of the Novel: Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction (2007).

Margaret Anne Doody was educated at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and Oxford University. She has taught at Berkeley, Princeton, and Vanderbilt Universities, and is currently John and Barbara Glynn Family Professor of Literature at the University of Notre Dame. She is author of A Natural Passion: A Study of the Novels of Samuel Richardson, The True Story of the Novel, The Daring Muse, and a literary biography of Frances Burney. Her most recent book is Tropic of Venice (2006). She is also well known as the author of a series of mystery stories set in ancient Greece, featuring the philosopher Aristotle as the presiding detective.

Mary A. Favret is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she teaches courses on a variety of subjects, especially in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature. The author of Romantic Correspondence: Women, Politics and the Fiction of Letters (1993), she has written extensively on Austen and other Romantic-era writers. Currently she is completing a book titled War at a Distance: Romanticism and the Creation of Modern Wartime.

Jan Fergus is Professor of English at Lehigh University, PA. She has published two book-length works on Austen as well as articles on her novels and on the provincial reading public in her time. Her most recent book is Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England (2006).

William Galperin is Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is the author of several books including The Historical Austen (2003) and has recently edited Persuasion (2007).

Susan C. Greenfield is Associate Professor of English at Fordham University. She is author of Mothering Daughters: Novels and the Politics of Family Romance, Frances Burney to Jane Austen (2002), and of numerous articles on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century English novels.

Sonia Hofkosh teaches in the English Department at Tufts University, MA. She is the author of Sexual Politics and the Romantic Author (1998) and coeditor (with Alan Richardson) of Romanticism, Race, & Imperial Culture 1780–1834 (1996). Her current project explores the function of objects within Romantic discourses of subjectivity.

Claudia L. Johnson joined the faculty at Princeton in 1994 and now serves as Department Chair. She specializes in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century literature, with a particular emphasis on the novel. Her books include Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (1988), Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s (1995), and The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft (2002), along with editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (1998), Sense and Sensibility (2002), and Northanger Abbey (2003). She is now finishing a book about author-love, called Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures, which traces permutations of “Jane mania” from 1817 to the present, and is also working on another called Raising the Novel, which explores modern efforts to create a novelistic canon by elevating novels to keystones of high culture.

Vivien Jones is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Gender and Culture at the University of Leeds, UK. Her many publications in the field include Women in the Eighteenth-Century: Constructions of Femininity (1990) and Women and Literature in Britain 1700–1800 (2000). She has edited Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen’s Selected Letters and is General Editor of Austen’s novels in Oxford World’s Classics.

George Justice is Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri. He is the author of The Manufacturers of Literature: Writing and the Literary Marketplace in Eighteenth-Century England and coeditor of Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550–1800, as well as the author of essays on Addison, Johnson, Austen, and other eighteenth-century literary figures.

Claire Lamont is Professor of English Romantic Literature at Newcastle University, UK. She specializes in English and Scottish Literature, especially the Romantic poets, Austen, Scott, and the literary representation of architecture. Her edition of Walter Scott’s Chronicles of the Canongate for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels appeared in 2000. She was Textual Adviser to the new edition of Austen’s works in Penguin Classics (1995–98).

Devoney Looser is Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri. She is the author of Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750–1850 (2008) and British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820 (2000), the coeditor (with E. Ann Kaplan) of Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue (1997), and the editor of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism (1995). She is a former member of the board of directors of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Deidre Lynch is Chancellor Jackman Professor at the University of Toronto. Her books include The Economy of Character: Novels, Market Culture, and the Business of Inner Meaning (1998), which won the Modern Language Association’s Prize for a First Book. She is also the author of many essays on eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and culture, and is an editor of Austen and Wollstonecraft. She is currently completing a book entitled At Home in English: A Cultural History of the Love of Literature.

Robert L. Mack was educated at Columbia, Oxford, and Princeton; he is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter, UK. His publications include a biography of the poet Thomas Gray, Thomas Gray: A Life (2000), a study of the literary mode of parody, The Genius of Parody (2007), and a history of the urban legends surrounding the figure of London’s Sweeney Todd, The Wonderful and Surprising History of Sweeney Todd (2008). He has edited a number of texts for Oxford World’s Classics and has also produced the first modern edition of the Austen family’s periodical, The Loiterer (2006).

Anthony Mandal is Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University, UK. His research interests include Jane Austen, nineteenth-century fiction, the Gothic, book history, and digital humanities. He is the author of Jane Austen and the Popular Novel: The Determined Author (2007); coeditor (with Peter Garside) of The English Novel, 1830–1836 (2003) and (with Brian Southam) The Reception of Jane Austen in Europe (2007); and developer of British Fiction, 1800–1829: A Database of Production, Circulation & Reception (2004) and A Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustrations (2007). He is also the editor of the online journal Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840.

Juliet McMaster, University Professor Emerita of the University of Alberta and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is the author of Jane Austen on Love, Jane Austen the Novelist, and of books on Thackeray, Trollope, Dickens, and the eighteenth-century novel. She is also the coeditor (with Bruce Stovel) of Jane Austen’s Business and (with Edward Copeland) The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. She is illustrator-editor of Austen’s The Beautifull Cassandra, and founder and first General Editor of the Juvenilia Press. She is currently working on a biography of the Victorian painter James Clarke Hook, and was involved in curating an exhibit of his work at Tate Britain.

Roger E. Moore is Senior Lecturer in English and Director of Undergraduate Writing at Vanderbilt University, TN. The author of essays on Chaucer, Marlowe, and Sidney, he is presently working on a book project on the literary response to the dissolution of the monasteries, titled Bare Ruined Choirs: The Cloister and the English Imagination from the Reformation to Romanticism.

Mary Ann O’Farrell is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Telling Complexions: The Nineteenth-Century English Novel and the Blush (1997) and coeditor (with Lynne Vallone) of Virtual Gender: Fantasies of Subjectivity and Embodiment (1999). Her current project examines Austen’s uses in contemporary cultural and political discourse.

Daniel O’Quinn is an Associate Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, Ontario. He is the author of Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770–1800 (2005). He has coedited (with Jane Moody) the Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1737–1840 (2007) and has prepared an edition of the Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (forthcoming). His articles on the intersection of race, sexuality, and class in Romantic culture have appeared in various journals including ELH, Studies in Romanticism, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, European Romantic Review, and Romantic Praxis.

Ruth Perry, Professor of Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of many books and articles on eighteenth-century English literature and culture. Her most recent book is an edition (with Susan Carlile) of Charlotte Lennox’s Henrietta (1758). It is her fondest wish to publish a volume of essays on Jane Austen.

Mary Poovey is the Samuel Rudin University Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English at New York University. She has written on subjects as diverse as feminist theory and the reform of government in nineteenth-century Britain. Her most recent books, A History of the Modern Fact and Genres of the Credit Economy, trace the history of some of modernity’s foundational categories and institutions.

Gillian Russell is Reader in English in the School of Humanities, Australian National University, Canberra. She is author of The Theatres of War: Performance, Politics and Society, 1793–1815 (1995) and Women, Sociability and Theatre in Georgian London (2007).

Diego Saglia is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Parma, Italy, and his main research area is British literature of the Romantic period. He has contributed to Jane Austen oggi e ieri (2002) and Jane Austen in Context (2005), and is coeditor (with Beatrice Battaglia) of Re-Drawing Austen: Picturesque Travels in Austenland (2004).

Harry E. Shaw has taught at Cornell University since 1978, where he has served as Chair of the Department of English and Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His main scholarly interests are the British novel and narrative poetics. He is author of Narrating Reality: Austen, Scott, Eliot (1999) and (with Alison Case) Reading the Nineteenth-Century Novel: Austen to Eliot, a book for students and teachers (2008).

Judy Simons is Professor of English and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She has published widely on women’s writing, including numerous articles on Austen. Among her books are Fanny Burney (1987), Diaries and Journals of Literary Women from Fanny Burney to Virginia Woolf (1990), and What Katy Read: Feminist Re-readings of Classic Stories for Girls (1995). She edited Mansfield Park and Persuasion: Contemporary Critical Essays, A Casebook (1997) and has written student guides to Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. She is deeply committed to developing English as a subject and has held a number of national positions. She was Chair of the Council for College and University English (1996–2000), Chair of the UK Council for University Deans of Arts and Humanities (2000–3) and Chair of the UK Subject Centre for English (2000–7).

Brian Southam’s most recent publications are a revised and enlarged second edition of Jane Austen and the Navy (2005), Jane Austen: A Students’ Guide to the Later Manuscript Works (2007), and (coedited with Anthony Mandal) The Reception of Jane Austen in Europe (2007). He is presently working on a study of Jane Austen and the professions.

Jane Spencer is Professor of English at the University of Exeter, UK. She has published widely on the novel in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and on women’s literary history from the Restoration to the nineteenth century. Her latest book is Literary Relations: Kinship and the Canon, 1660–1830 (2005). She is currently working on animals in eighteenth-century writing.

Mary Spongberg is head of the Department of Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney, and the editor of Australian Feminist Studies. She recently coedited (with Barbara Caine and Ann Curthoys) the Companion to Women’s Historical Writing (2005), and is the author of Writing Women’s History Since the Renaissance (2002).

Fiona Stafford is a Reader in English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Somerville College. She has edited Pride and Prejudice and Emma, and is the author of Jane Austen: A Brief Life (2008) and editor of Jane Austen’s Emma: A Casebook in Criticism (2007).

Kathryn Sutherland is Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism at the University of Oxford. She is author of Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: from Aeschylus to Bollywood (2005) and coauthor (with Marilyn Deegan) of Digital Technology and the Cultures of Print (2008). She is currently working on a digital and print edition of Jane Austen’s fiction manuscripts.

Katie Trumpener is Emily Sanford Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale University. Her Bardic Nationalism: The Romantic Novel and the British Empire (1997) reads Mansfield Park against contemporary abolition discourse, while her “The Virago Jane Austen” (in Janeites, 2000) traces Austen reception among Anglo-American women modernists. She is currently working on Romantic children’s literature, and recently coedited (with Richard Maxwell) The Cambridge Companion to Fiction in the Romantic Period (2007).

Clara Tuite is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Romantic Austen: Sexual Politics and the Literary Canon (2002), as well as several essays on Austen, and is coeditor (with Gillian Russell) of Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770–1840 (2002).

John Wiltshire has recently retired as Professor of English at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He is the author of Jane Austen and the Body (1992) and Recreating Jane Austen (2001), and has edited Mansfield Park. With David Monaghan and Ariane Hudulet, he is writing a book provisionally titled The Cinematic Jane Austen.

Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English, Princeton University, is a specialist in the British Romantic era, and author of Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism (2006) and Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Imagination (forthcoming). Her work on Austen includes “Boxing Emma: The Reader’s Dilemma at Box Hill” (in Re-reading Box Hill, 2000) and (with Claudia L. Johnson) Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: A Longman Cultural Edition (2003).

Gillen D’Arcy Wood is associate professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Shock of the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture, 1760–1860 (2001) and a historical novel, Hosack’s Folly (2005). His current book is a study of literary Romanticism and music culture in the period 1770–1840.

Michael Wood is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. His most recent book is Literature and the Taste of Knowledge (2005). His other books include The Magician’s Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction (1994) and Children of Silence: on Contemporary Fiction (1998).

List of Abbreviations

E: Emma, The Novels of Jane Austen, ed. R. W. Chapman (Oxford University Press, 1932–4), revised by Mary Lascelles (Oxford University Press, 1965–6).
MP: Mansfield Park, ed. Chapman, rev. Lascelles.
NA: Northanger Abbey, ed. Chapman, rev. Lascelles.
P: Persuasion, ed. Chapman, rev. Lascelles.
PP: Pride and Prejudice, ed. Chapman, rev. Lascelles.
SS: Sense and Sensibility, ed. Chapman, rev. Lascelles.
MW: Minor Works, The Works of Jane Austen, ed. R. W. Chapman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954, revised by B. C. Southam. Oxford University Press, 1969.
Letters: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye. Oxford University Press, 1995.

A Note to the Reader

Nowadays, the status of Jane Austen texts, once a quiescent issue in Austen criticism, is a lively subject. A very fine range of editions is available not only for scholarly and classroom use but also for – lacking a better term – ordinary readers, a vast public, who read Austen’s novels (often every year!) for pleasure: Chapman’s landmark edition of the 1920s; the related and distinguished set from Oxford World Classics; the revised edition from Penguin, based on challenging new editorial principles; volumes published variously by Broadview Press and W.W. Norton, and Longman, among others; and, most ambitiously and impressively of all, the monumental new Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Jane Austen. The multiplicity of differently authoritative editions of Austen’s novels raises fascinating questions. To some extent, of course, Austen’s novels are a marketing opportunity, but more critical questions are at stake than the bottom lines of publishers. What is it that makes an Austenian text authoritative? Who gets to say so? Is it necessary to establish a single definitive edition when so many important, carefully prepared and annotated editions are available? Is there really such a thing as a definitive text?

On one hand, the plurality of editions seems to us an extremely healthy sign, testifying to the liveliness of Austen studies and to the healthy diffusion of scholarly authority, resistance, and debate. On the other hand, this very plurality makes settling on a standard set in this volume a difficult and vexing task. For the purposes of internal cross-referencing, it seemed important to regularize quotations using a single edition rather than oblige readers to fetch citations from different volumes of different editions; but every time we advanced a qualitative argument in favor of one set, an equally convincing qualitative argument on behalf of another emerged. Acutely aware that there is no single, fully satisfactory solution to this problem, we eventually decided in favor of the long-standard Chapman edition on purely practical grounds: it is mostly widely available to students in libraries and having been for better or worse the standard edition since the 1920s, it is the set almost invariably employed in the literary criticism alluded to throughout this volume and collected in the bibliography.


Claudia L. Johnson would like to thank Princeton University for the research support that made some of the work on this volume possible. Clara Tuite would like to thank the University of Melbourne, for the period of leave that enabled her to complete the bulk of the editing and writing of the Introduction. She would also like to thank the Australian Research Council for a grant that supported work on the volume and the editorial assistance of Michelle Smith in the crucial final stages.

To Michelle herself, we are enormously grateful for her generous assistance and her meticulous attention to detail.

Our editors at Blackwell Publishing have been encouraging and patient and discerning throughout. We would especially like to thank Al Bertrand, for his guidance in the early stages of the project, and Hannah Morrell and Emma Bennett, for seeing the volume through production. We were also particularly fortunate to be able to rely on Jenny Roberts as our copy-editor, and we thank her for her keen eye and unfailing good judgment. We are likewise grateful to David Luljak for his skill and judiciousness as our indexer and to Marcia Glass for her zealous attention as our proofreader.

Our greatest debts are to our contributors, for the intelligence and flair with which they collaborated in the project of showing the vitality, variety, and excitement of current Austen studies. We appreciate equally their patience and their sense of adventure.

The editors and publisher gratefully acknowledge the permission granted to reproduce the copyright material in this book:

University of Chicago Press, for permission to republish the portions of Mary Poovey’s essay that have appeared in Genres of the Credit Economy: Mediating Value in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Britain (2008).

Johns Hopkins University Press, for permission to republish the portions of William Galperin’s essay, “The Missed Opportunities of Mansfield Park,” that have appeared in his essay “Describing What Never Happened: Jane Austen and the History of Missed Opportunities,” ELH 73 (2006).

Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, for Figure 5.1, Mansfield Park (London: Richard Bentley, 1833), frontispiece and engraved title page, by William Greatbatch after Pickering.

Matheson Library, Monash University, for Figure 5.2, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (London: Chapman & Hall, 1872), front and back boards.

University of New South Wales Library, for Figure 5.3, Mansfield Park (London: Groombridge, 1875), illustration by A. F. Lydon.

Dover Publications, Inc., for Figure 5.5, Pride & Prejudice (London: George Allen, 1895), headpiece and ornamental capital letter on p. 89, by Hugh Thomson.

Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, for Figure 22.1, James Gillray, Fatigues of the Campaign in Flanders.

The Trustees of the British Museum, for Figure 25.1, Am I Not a Man and a Brother?, by Josiah Wedgwood.

Wilberforce House Museum, Hull City Council, UK, for Figure 25.2, Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?

The British Museum, for Figure 25.3, Isaac Cruikshank, The Abolition of the Slave Trade and Figure 25.4, The Rabbits.

Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. The publisher apologizes for any errors or omissions in the above list and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book.