JA, slavery, land-enclosures
Posted by Helen on February 04, 1998 at 07:05:42:
In response to Austen's politics, written by Valerie Mc. on January 29, 1998 at 21:01:08
] ] I think one has to work fairly hard to find a handle for any political beliefs in her miniatures of realism. Where did she stand on the question of slavery? Of land enclosure? Of American and French Revolutions? The little bits of ivory do not support these large panoramic views!
If you want a reading of Mansfield Park which finds slavery and land enclosure crucial points, try Edward Said, who wrote an essay on it whose title inconveniently escapes me, but someone should know it - Henry??? He reads an awful lot into the Bertram estates in the West Indies (slavery) and the ha-ha ditch (land enclosures). I started writing this and realised that I can't remember a word of what he said... oh, you know, why don't you read that book - you know the one - by some guy... called something or other... it was really good, whatever he said... Please excuse me: my memory is full of thesis at the moment...
] It's always interested me how assiduously she seems to avoid commenting on anything outside the personal realm. But of course there's a heavy dose of realism in that, too - people usually are only concerned about events that directly affect them.
I really like the blurb that comes on the Penguin edition of Pride and Prejudice: "In a decade when the Napoleonic Wars were ravaging Europe, JA wrote this scintillating novel in which the only things that happen are that a young man changes his manners and a young lady changes her mind."
Now why can I remember the blurb from the novel and not have a clue about the criticism?
Helen, who has a gaping void where her brain should be
- Jane Austen's attitude to Land Enclosures Caroline 21:00:18 2/05/98 (1)
- WoW! Thank you for this info! (nfm) gkb 11:35:29 2/06/98 (0)
- Ha-HA! gkb 20:29:17 2/04/98 (3)
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