1 thought on “The economics of Jane Austen”

  1. Posted 24/12/2017 at 11:16 | Permalink

    Giles Coren’s comments are not worth a riposte, relating as most of them do, to the modern Jane Austen industry (D’Arcy’s wet shirt and all) rather than to the books themselves, which he probably hasn’t read. While I accept your argument about the unavoidable centrality of marriage to women in the late-18th early-19th century (and probably for many centuries before that), JA’s novels are about far more than that. For example, Emma is about the dangerous folly of trying to manage someone else’s life – in that sense, not unlike a genteel version of Liaisons Dangereuses – Sense and Sensibility is about the danger of living a life driven by emotion at the expense of reason, and so on. They are for the most part fundamentally conservative, conveying the lesson that folk should stick to their own class, not have aspirations too far above their station, and accept the conventions of the day.

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