Pride and Prejudice
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The moral base of family and social circles is just as important in Austen’s other three major novels, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion, as in Mansfield Park. As Mansfield Park ends with the drawing together of the Bertram family, Pride and Prejudice closes with the joyous friendship of Elizabeth and Darcy with Elizabeth’s cousins, the Gardiners. The aristocratic Darcy’s warm acceptance of the Gardiners is a significant marker in his characterization.
KeywordsMoral Issue Polite Society Perfect Expression Good Master Lovely Scene
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- 1.Alistair Duckworth’s commentary in The Improvement of the Estate (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971) is central to an understanding of Bingley’s responsibilities. Even if Pride and Prejudice might not have been Austen’s own favorite among her novels (she worried that it was perhaps too light in its outlook), critics find the book a compelling subject. Among the countless studies of the novel, as is true of Austen’s work as a whole, there are the Chicago, the Marxist, the Freudian, the feminist, the historical criticisms; a good starting point for surveying the territory is Duckworth’s thoughtful essay “Jane Austen and the Conflict of Interpretations” in Jane Austen: New Perspectives, ed. Janet Todd (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1983). Claudia L. Johnson’s Jane Austen: Women, Politics and the Novel (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1988)Google Scholar
- and Mary Poovey’s The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1984) remain major studies,Google Scholar
- and Marilyn Butler’s Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) is still indispensable.Google Scholar
- 2.Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, ed. Donald Grey (New York: Norton, 2001), Quotations will be cited by page number only when the page number itself is different from the number cited for the preceding quotation. All page references are to this edition.Google Scholar
- 3.The Yearsley controversy has received a good deal of discussion. A sampling of recent work includes Moira Ferguson, “Resistance and Power in the Life and Writings of Ann Yearsley,” The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation 27 (1986); Cheryl Turner, Living by the Pen (London: Routledge, 1994);Google Scholar
- Donna Landry, The Muses of Resistance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).Google Scholar