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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

Helena Kelly | Knopf Publishing Group | 9781524732103

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In this fascinating, revelatory work, Helena Kelly looks past the grand houses, drawing-room dramas, and witty dialogue that have long been seen as hallmarks of Jane Austen's work to bring to light the serious, ambitious, subversive concerns of this beloved writer. Kelly illuminates the radical views-on such subjects as slavery, poverty, feminism, marriage, and the church-that Austen deftly and carefully explored in her six novels, at a time when open criticism was considered treason. Kelly shows us that Austen was fully aware of what was going on in the world during the turbulent times she lived in, and sure of what she thought of it. Above all, Austen understood that the novel-until then dismissed as mindless and frivolous-could be a meaningful art form, one that in her hands reached unprecedented heights of greatness. Book jacket.

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