Posted by Kate on May 01, 1997 at 11:20:53:
In reply to Re: Ordination posted by kathleen (elder) on May 01, 1997 at 05:47:42
] ] My new copy of this, bought for the purposes of this discussion ( ;-) ) has a bit about this in the introduction. I quote:
] ] "The legend that ordination is somehow central to the issue needs disposing of first. In one of his rare mistakes, Austen's great editor R.W. chapman pronounced that Austen had said MP was 'about' ordination. Hugh Brogan, Mary Lascelles, and others established in the Times Literary Supplement in 1968 that Chapman was imposing too much particular a meaning on the Austen letter in which the statement allegedly occurs. It is as well to get this straight, for 'themes' such as ordination and all the rest of the Evangelical menu are at best marginal to the novel, kept so by their implications for the boys' lives rather than the girls'. "
] ] There is also a long footnote explaining exactly how Chapman mucked it up. I will post it if anyone is desperately interested.
] ] The intro from which the above is quoted is by Marilyn Butler, the World's Classics edition.
] Kate, this sounds interesting and informative -- could you post some more of it, if it isn't too much trouble?
] I had always wondered if Jane Austen was just being her own ironic self with this comment that the book is about ordination. But I confess that I haven't thought too much about it either way.
The footnote is as follows:
Jane Austen to Cassandra Austen, 29 Jan 1813 in _Letters_ p. 298; the correspondence on the topic begins with Hugh Brogan's letter, TLS 19 Dec 1968. After Austen has been writing about the publication of P&P, the key sentences read: 'Now I will try to write of something else, and it shall be a complete change of subject - ordination - I am glad to find your enquires have ended so well. If you could discover whether Northamptonshire is a country of hedgerows I should be glad again.' Chapman's intepretation assumes a full stop between 'ordination' and 'I' . His critics feel that Austen is more likely to have intended a stop between 'subject' and 'ordination'.
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