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Jane Austen's Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood Paperback – 1 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (1 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199234280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199234288
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,167,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

...exceeds expectations in its scope and depth of (textual and historical) detail, in its painstaking archival recovery, and in the command and refinement of its critical analysis ...is an invaluable contribution to Austen studies (Ankhi Mukherjee, Notes and Queries)

About the Author

Kathryn Sutherland is a Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism, University of Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I see the previous reviewer gave this book just one star; I'm leaving this review to provide an alternative point of view.

You are not going to enjoy this book if your interest in Jane Austen is just limited to reading her novels, or only extends to reading popular literary biographies such as Claire Tomalin's (which I would recommend, despite its sentimentalism). It will mean nothing to you if your knowledge of Austen is based on TV or film adaptations.

Sutherland is writing for a primarily academic audience and this isn't meant to be `pop-lit-crit', though the Bollywood reference in the title may understandably lead you to think otherwise. You really need to be a literature student or teacher, or have a fairly serious scholarly interest in Austen, to benefit from Sutherland's research or appreciate her arguments.

If you do have more than a passing fascination for Austen's writing, you will find this the most interesting and provocative commentary on her works since Marilyn Butler's `Jane Austen and the War of Ideas'. I thought it was an incredibly stimulating read, it introduced me to debates on composition and Austen's juvenilia that I wasn't previously aware of, and it's absolutely encyclopaedic in scope: even if this book comprised all your secondary reading on Austen, you'd still amass a huge amount of textual and contextual knowledge. The chapter on `The Watsons' - a manuscript work that rarely gets the attention it deserves - is particularly intriguing, as is Sutherland's tracing of the myth of Jane Austen as created by successive generations of her family and latterly by her reading public.

In its hardback edition this book was quite obscenely overpriced, almost on a par with the legendary £95 it costs to buy the Blackwell Companion to Jane Austen; thank goodness OUP have now brought out a reasonably priced paperback edition.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Boudicca on 22 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing, and an invaluable aid to a better understanding of Jane Austen and her novels. The book is not a lightweight, easy read. It is densely written, and presupposes that the reader already has an extensive knowledge of, and interest in, all things 'Jane Austen'.

Professor Sutherland's research demonstrates how the later generations of Victoian relatives and editors 'managed...the invention and preservation of a comfortable Victorian reputation for a disruptive and witty Regency novelist'. We are free at last to understand Jane Austen in her own context!

I am only half way through reading my copy, but am thoroughly engrossed by the ideas and suggestions that Professor Sutherland puts forward, providing much food for thought and enabling me to hear Jane's voice afresh.
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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Babis on 12 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was very boring and I could not finish it. I was duped by the good reviews it got, and bought it but the style was so academic, the information about Austen already known and the price so expensive, it seems only fools like me can afford the luxury of that kind of intellectual rubbish.
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