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Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945

Halsey K (2013) Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945. London: Anthem.


‘Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945' is a study of readers' interactions with the works of one of England's most enduringly popular novelists. Employing an innovative approach made possible by new research in the field of the history of reading, the volume discusses Austen's own ideas about books and readers, the uses she makes of her reading, and the relationship of her style to her readers' responses. It considers the role of editions and criticism in directing readers' responses, and presents and analyses a variety of source material related to readers who read Austen's works between 1786 and 1945.

Previous studies of Austen's influence on her readers and literary successors have either presupposed a hypothetical reader, or focused on the texts of the critical tradition, ignoring the views, reactions and thoughts of the common reader. This volume discusses the responses of ordinary readers to Austen's novels, responses that offer insights into both Jane Austen's particular appeal, and the nature of the act of reading itself.

AuthorsHalsey Katie
Number of pages298
Publication date2013
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN 9781783080502
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