| the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1818 (posthumous)
|When Persuasion was published posthumously in 1818, only a small circle of people knew of and admired Jane Austen's novels. Since that date, however, Austen has come to be one of the world's most widely read and most beloved authors. She claimed once to her nephew, who would later write her biography, 'the little bit (two inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush produces little effect after much labour'. Scholars and readers, however, have overwhelmingly disagreed with her assessment that her work produces 'little effect', finding her to be a conscious artist and astute social critic. In Persuasion, her last novel, Austen|| continues to present in minute detail the daily lives of her characters, upper-middle-class men and women living in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This novel perhaps is her most romantic, centering on postponed but enduring love. Anne Elliot, the story's heroine, suffers from a decision that was forced upon her several years ago – to break off a relationship with the man she deeply loved. As Austen examines the causes and consequences of this action, she offers a penetrating critique of the standards of the British class system and the narrow-mindedness of those who strictly subscribe to them.
|AMOROUS ENTANGLEMENTS AND WELL-DRAWN PORTRAITS|
Clarissa, or, The history of a young lady
Samuel Richardson, 1748
Epistolary novel about a chaste, doomed woman.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare, 1596
Lovestruck youngsters chase each other around in the Athenian woods.
As You Like It
William Shakespeare, 1599
Confusion abounds in this romantic comedy with a feisty heroine.
Henry Fielding, 1742
Beautiful youth is lured into various beds, but always ends up making a mess of things.
Henry Fielding, 1749
The tragi-comic fate of an English foundling.
Evelina: or The History of a Young Lady's Entrance in the World
Fanny Burney, 1778
Epistolary novel about the life and loves of a young noblewoman.
She Stoops to Conquer
Oliver Goldsmith, 1773
Comedy of errors in which a young lady poses as a serving girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class.
|BOOKS BY JANE AUSTEN:|
Pride and Prejudice
Two of literature's most famous lovers, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, have to subdue their pride and overcome prejudices if they are to find happiness together.
|WHAT TO READ AFTER PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?|
'AUSTENISH', BUT IN MINOR MODE
The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James, 1881 (first publ. 1880-81 as serial)
'Novel of manners' about a strong-willed young woman who opts for unhappiness.
The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton, 1920
Social conventions in New York wreck the lovelife of upper-class divorcée.
Hotel du Lac
Anita Brookner, 1984
While staying at Swiss hotel, thirtysomething Romantic novelist is faced with difficult choice.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Charlotte Brontë, 1847
Romantic tragedy about a clever orphan girl who, after much trial and tribulation, ends up happily married.
[Joop ter Heul]
Cissy van Marxveldt, 1919-1925 (4 delen)
At school and in love...
Daphne du Maurier, 1938
Leave it to the housekeeper to poke her nose in where she's not wanted...
Nick Hornby, 1995
Immature music lover seeks ideal woman and ends up in the arms of his ex.
IN JANE AUSTEN'S FOOTSTEPS
Whatever happened to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy after Pride and Prejudice was over?
Bridget Jones's Diary
Helen Fielding, 1997
Elizabeth and Darcy in the world of hotshot publishers and TV dinners.
SPIRITED HEROINES, á LA ELIZABETH BENNET
A.L.G. Bosboom-Touissant, 1874
Independent tomboy learns mores from husband-to-be.
George Eliot, 1871-1872
Provincial beauty marries (second time around) for love instead of fortune.
|Sense and Sensibility|
Mrs Dashwood and her two daughters must leave the family home and move to a small house in another part of the country. Soon Marianne and Elinor both fall in love, but they must first learn some terrible secrets before they find true happiness.
Quick-witted, beautiful, headstrong and rich, Emma Woodhouse is inordinately fond of matchmaking. Yet the irony is that she is oblivious to the question of who she herself might marry. Through this comedy of sentimental education, she discovers a capacity for love and marriage.
Differing from Austen's other novels in adopting a more sober tone, this one describes the ordeals of Anne Elliot, who has been persuaded by her family to reject Captain Wentworth. The novel opens several years later, when she is 27 and still unattached.
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