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Decades of consideration of the Austen oeuvre have been distilled into this book. Each chapter covers a separate topic, such as monetary values, blushing, the comparative reputations of various seaside resorts and how proposals are made. Each argument is pinned down with copious references and quotations, but is always flowing and wears its erudition lightly. It made me realise that a rereading of her works is long overdue. Professor Mullan's pupils should consider themselves fortunate.
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on 2 October 2012
I liked "what matters in Jane Austen", it had fun questions with detailed examples.
Though I would recommend that you have read all Jane Austen novels recently before reading this book: I started skipping certain passages because it was too long ago since I had read Emma or Mansfield Park and had forgotten how it went exaclty and who was who... So I'm going to reread those book and then reread those passages I skipped this time.
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on 31 August 2017
Very good
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on 10 March 2013
This was chosen, having read newspaper reviews, for someone who re-reads Jane Austen on a continuous cycle and it did not disappoint. A bit of a must for all Jane Austen devotees.
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on 20 June 2013
Well written by somebody so immersed in the novels' detail that he cannot live any other life, satisfying if you have a real interest.
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on 23 November 2013
A good bedside book for Jane Austen admirers. Fills some of the gaps and provides reflection of her well-loved novels.
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on 2 April 2013
It feels presumptuous to review this book. She was one of the greatest writers in the English language - and I can't even spell "presumptuous". with any confidence. Her observations are so precise and beautifully presented with wit and subtlety, it's not surprising her books survive the test of time and have been turned into gorgeous films.
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on 26 September 2015
Well worth buying as it explores 20 issues you may not have thought about at all or only to a superficial level, and it doing so it illustrates Austen's art in a very detailed way. Written by someone immersed for years in studies of Austen but avoids the horrible Eng Lit/sociology academic prose some similar works are written in.
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on 1 December 2015
This is a fascinating incite into the work of Jane Austen, and gives a deeper understanding into all the goings on beneath the surface influencing her characters behaviour. I am very pleased with this book as it has shown me a new dimension to her works and makes me appreciate all her genius even more.
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on 16 June 2014
Having studied Jane Austen's Persuasion at 'A' Level I wished that this book had been available back in 1965! The book is both informative and engaging asking questions I'd never contemplated. I thorough;y enjoyed it- excellent scholarship,

Stuart Dickinson
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