Closing In: Restrictive Spaces for Ageing Mothers in Jane Austen’s Novels



Jane Austen’s novels abound with examples of ageing mothers, poor parenting styles and dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships. At the root of these issues, the mothers’ age and ageing processes offer a sharp contrast to the youth, freedoms and courtships of their daughters. At least in part, ageing mothers conflicted with their daughters because their own ageing processes brought about physical, social and psychological changes which altered and increasingly restricted the spaces they were permitted to occupy. This paper explores the various physical, social and psychological spaces that women were permitted to occupy within society and within the home and proposes a correlation between the closing in of those spaces and the conflict in the mother-daughter dynamic.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ivy Tech Community CollegeRichmondUSA

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