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Anderson thoroughly and competently sifts through the many meanings of ‘womanhood’ in Austen’s time and, directly or by implication, in our own.
It was a pleasure to read this delightful analysis accompanied by illuminating references to our own contemporary culture.” — Susan Ostrov Weisser, author of The Glass Slipper: Women and Love Stories“Jane Austen’s Women hits the sweet spot between delightful critical introduction and inspiring guidebook for how to live out Austen’s vision of what Kathleen Anderson calls ‘the heroinism of everyday life.’ Her discerning close readings of female bodies, emotions, intelligence, work, and love combine lucid interpretation with strong insight.
How does the brilliant Regency novelist speak so personally to today’s women that they view her as their best friend?
Jane Austen’s Women answers these questions by exploring Austen’s affirming yet challenging vision of both who her dynamic female characters are, and who they become.
Professor Kathryn Sutherland discusses the importance of marriage and its relationship to financial security and social status for women in Jane Austen’s novels. It is right that the three words at the head of this article come in the order that they do, because in Jane Austen’s novels the manoeuvring by which a man presents himself to a woman (and her parents) as a possible husband often comes before any signs of love.
It reveals how, despite a restrictive patriarchal culture, these women achieve greatness.
“I am strong enough now to walk very well”: Vigor and Femininity in Mansfield Park 2.
“I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other”: Sexual Orthodoxy and the Quest for the Best Mate Part II: Women’s Natures: Mood, Mind, Spirit, and Female Giftedness 3. ”: Women’s Intelligences, according to “the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress” 5.
Rather than a narrowly focused “how-to” for dating, she takes readers through the novels of Jane Austen, examining the women and men Austen created and the way their character informs their actions, whether in the pursuit of love or in making other important life decisions.
In the introduction titled “The Real Thing” Murphy proposes that modern dating guides have a Regency ancestor in the conduct book, full of dos and don’ts for women wishing to succeed in society: …the Regency conduct book tended to judge a woman by how she conducts herself–that is, by how she acts, by how she seems.
In clear, lively prose, Kathleen Anderson shares original theoretical insights from twenty years of studying Austen, and illuminates the novels as guidebooks on how to become an Austenian heroine in one’s everyday life.