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.
- “Archetypes.” Hillsborough Community College 2015. https://www.hccfl.edu/media/724354/archetypesforliteraryanalysis.pdf. Accessed 18 May 2015.
- Austen, Jane. 1998. Mansfield Park, ed. Claudia L. Johnson. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
- Austen, Jane. 2001. Pride and Prejudice, 3rd ed., ed. Donald J. Gray. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
- Austen, Jane. 2002. Sense and Sensibility, ed. Claudia L. Johnson. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
- Benson, Mary Margaret. 1989. Mothers, Substitute Mothers, and Daughters in the Novels of Jane Austen. Persuasions 11: 117–124. Jane Austen Society of North America. http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/printed/number11/benson.htm. Accessed 15 May 2015.
- Fordyce, James. 1814. Sermons to Young Women, In Two Volumes, vol. 1, 14th ed. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies.Google Scholar
- Greenfield, Susan C. 2002. Mothering Daughters: Novels and the Politics of Family Romance: Frances Burney to Jane Austen. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
- Lane, Maggie. 2014. Growing Older with Jane Austen. London: Robert Hale.Google Scholar
- Locklin, Nancy. 2007. Women’s Work and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Brittany. Abingdon: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- More, Hannah. 2002. From Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education. In Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, ed. Claudia L. Johnson, 269–299. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
- Perkin, Joan. 1989. Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England. 1988. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Posusta, Rebecca. 2014. Architecture of the Mind and Place in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Critical Survey 26 (1): 76–91. doi: 10.3167/cs.2014.260106.
- Tobin, Beth Fowkes. 1990. ‘The Tender Mother’: The Social Construction of Motherhood and the Lady’s Magazine. Women’s Studies 18 (2/3): 205–221.Google Scholar
- Wiltshire, John. 1992. Jane Austen and the Body: ‘The Picture of Health.’ New York: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar