Posts about Letter Writing in Jane Austen’s Time written by Vic
I have the impression that novels were not even considered "literature" in England at that time. Men did read novels of course, but it was a brave admission to make in public. You can read of just such a brave admission by Mr. Tilney in . However, this was an admission unashamedly made by Jane Austen's father, brothers, and nephews.
Jane Austen's Letters by Jane Austen - Goodreads
Perhaps there is no universally accepted definition of what we mean by "Victorian". To me it was a period of rigid rules, frozen class structures, and calcified sphincters. I also think of the malady as a kind of London flu that spread throughout the English-speaking world. (The rest of us could not expect to import only the good stuff.) Victorian attitudes seem a natural consequence of the industrial revolution combined with the establishment of the British Empire; these were the firm attitudes that disciplined and trained that large middle class that was so necessary for the control and functioning of the two vast domains. The "revolution" the expansion were well under way in Jane Austen's times; indeed, Jane's brothers were participating in both of these historical processes. However, the bad stuff had not yet begun.
I conclude this section with a discussion of Sir Walter Scott's Rebecca of York and James Fenimore Cooper's Cora Munro. Jane Austen died in 1817, but the two authors were mature men in that year, so their characterizations qualify as examples of the attitudes of some men in our Lady's time. (Incidentally, .)
Previously unseen letter by Jane Austen goes on …
Fielding did something interesting at that point - he also turned Sophia out on the road to escape a wedding arranged and insisted upon by her father. So, there were pilgrims to this story. As it turns out, Maria's father, Squire Western, got it in his head that his daughter must marry the novel's villain. When Maria refused, the father explained that he will beat her until she did unless he locked her up in her room without food or water instead. Another option he held out to her was to strip her naked and turn her out of doors. Maria punctuated her pleading with tears and protestations of love and obedience to her father. She continually pleaded that she would not disobey, but wouldn't he please reconsider? Well, all that certainly reinforces what we are all told of the treatment of woman and of their compliance in Jane Austen's time.
Letters from Jane Austen - Heroine Training
This is a story about poverty the industrial revolution. In all respects, it seems not as bad as what would come after. I doubt that anything else like this was written in the eighteenth century - if you know otherwise, I would like to hear of it. Certainly, no Janite will recognize anything of this nature in the writings of Jane Austen.
Letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, 25 April 1811
Incidentally, the reason that Squire Western got it in his head to marry Maria to the villain is rather amusing. He had always liked Tom Jones - had liked him a great deal - and had, correctly, assumed that Maria loved Tom. He also saw Allworthy's nephew, the villain, to be exactly what he was and, therefore, of no possible interest to Maria. The villain was certainly a qualified match for the gentlewoman Maria, but the Squire would not have thought to match them until someone else put it into his head. That someone was the Squire's sister, Mrs. Western, who, incidentally, had raised Maria in London. Mrs. Western was a strident feminist who intimidated her brother because she was far better educated - I mean she even (gulp!) read political pamphlets. There is this hilarious chapter in which the brother and sister argue about which sex should rule the world. Mrs. Western easily demolished her blustering brother and we might have been convinced by her ourselves if she had not ended the argument in an interesting way. She explained to her brother that he so little understood women that he even misread his own daughter. It was obvious, she explained, that Maria was only simulating interest in Tom while actually longing for Allworthy's nephew - Since his educated, pamphlet-reading sister said it, Squire Western was convinced.
Jane Austen family letters offer ..
There is a way, of course, in which I can be right about what I think I see contradicting brother Henry Austen - it may be that both Henry Fielding and Jane Austen were inspired by the same literary tradition. That might be the explanation of the reason that I think I see the same writing skills (logic, ironic humor, efficiency, and heart) in both writers.