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Women and ‘Value’ in Jane Austen’s Novels

Settling, Speculating and Superfluity

  • Lynda A. Hall

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Lynda A Hall
    Pages 1-14
  3. Lynda A. Hall
    Pages 15-35
  4. Lynda A Hall
    Pages 67-113
  5. Lynda A Hall
    Pages 115-158
  6. Lynda A Hall
    Pages 159-193
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 211-225

About this book

Introduction

Jane Austen’s minor female characters expose the economic and social realties of British women in the long eighteenth century and reflect the conflict between intrinsic and expressed value within the evolving marketplace, where fluctuations and fictions inherent in the economic and moral value structures are exposed.  Just as the newly-minted paper money was struggling to express its value, so do Austen’s minor female characters struggle to assert their intrinsic value within a marketplace that expresses their worth as bearers of dowries.  Austen’s minor female characters expose the plight of women who settle for transactional marriages, become speculators and predators, or become superfluous women who have left the marriage market and battle for personal significance and existence.  These characters illustrate the ambiguity of value within the marriage market economy, exposing women’s limited choices.  This book employs a socio-historical framework, considering the rise of a competitive consumer economy juxtaposed with affective individualism.

Keywords

Economics Gender Heroine Marriage Adam Smith

Authors and affiliations

  • Lynda A. Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishChapman UniversityOrangeUSA

Bibliographic information