Authored Book

Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945



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

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. It discusses Austen's own ideas about books and readers, the uses she makes of her reading, and some aspects of her style that are related to the ways in which she has been read. 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 tended either to presuppose a hypothetical reader, or to focus on the texts of the critical tradition, ignoring the views, reactions and thoughts of the common reader. This volume, in contrast, discusses the responses a variety of readers to Austen's novels. These responses offer insights into both Jane Austen's particular appeal, and the nature of the act of reading itself. They also expose the ways in which notions of aesthetic value are constructed, perpetuated and/or overturned; at the same time such responses reveal the non-literary preoccupations, not only of the individuals under consideration, but also, frequently, of the ages in which they live.

Jane Austen; History of reading

Title of seriesAnthem Nineteenth-Century Series
Publication date31/10/2013
PublisherAnthem Press
Publisher URL…ers-1786-1945-hb
Place of publicationLondon

People (1)


Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor, English Studies