I must confess to a little uneasiness. Except for a long-standing, slow-burning admiration for Jane Austen’s writing, for ‘the achieve of, the mastery of the thing’, I have nothing much to guide me. I have not even written a book on Jane Austen; so who can say where I stand in the critical spectrum, between the ultra-violet Janeites and the infra-red Austenists? There is, I know, a vast ocean of scholarship and criticism, puff-cheeked and sea-monster-haunted, in which Jane’s work swims; but I have not studied the ‘Sailing-Directions’ that could have warned me of the sly currents and deceptive landfalls, and have neglected the ‘Notices to Mariners’ with their record of the latest wrecks, the unlighted lights, the demolished seamarks, the unswept minefields. I feel like one who has been bidden to dine in the Captain’s Room at Lloyd’s, having no gold ring in the ear.
KeywordsIndelible Mark Young Lady Pure Action Musical State Great Artist
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