Cover image for Jane Austen's England
Title:
Jane Austen's England
Author:
Lane, Maggie, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1986.
Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312003661
Format :
Book

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PR4038.E46 L36 1986 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Maggie Lane, a British school librarian, has parlayed a lifelong interest in Jane Austen into a number of books and articles on the great nineteenth-century author's life and works. Lane's latest contribution is a readable and attractive guide to the many places Austen visited, lived in, and wrote about. The book convincingly demonstrates that Jane Austen whom many people persist in thinking of as an Emily Dickinson-like recluse in fact traveled widely within her native land and responded with curiosity and perceptiveness to the varied settings she encountered. Lane's exceptionally well written, well researched text is accompanied by a host of photographs (all, unfortunately, in black and white). Recommended for all Austen lovers. Notes; bibliography, and index. TT. 823'.7 Austen, Jane Contemporary England / Austen, Jane Homes and haunts England / Literary landmarks England / England Social life and customs / England in literature / Local color in literature / Novelists, English 19th century Biography [CIP] 86-22009


Choice Review

The author's intention is to pursue several unimpeachable lines of inquiry: How much of England had Jane Austen seen? How was she influenced by contemporary theories of landscape and design? What principles governed her fictional treatment of place? Frequently citing Austen's novels and letters, Lane leads us through the 14 counties and three cities that Austen apparently knew firsthand. As it enhances our understanding of places integral to the novels (e.g., Bath, Lyme, Portsmouth) and sheds light on Austen's treatment of them, such a tour is valuable. Too often, however, Lane wanders on the periphery, seemingly indifferent to literary and critical values in her effort to specify all places named or visited by Austen. Moreover, despite informative excerpts from contemporary travel literature, the discussion of Georgian landscape theory is largely superficial and derivative. Most disturbing is Lane's sentimental, often patronizing treatment of Austen ``as a woman and as a writer,'' recalling quaint critical attitudes presumably extinct. Nevertheless, the book offers one indubitable enticement to the undergraduate reader: its numerous and excellent contemporary engravings of places bearing upon Jane Austen's life and works.-J.G. Haahr, Yeshiva University