The Perfections of Jane Austen

Today I happily stumbled onto a 2012 lecture about Jane Austen given by Eva Brann, a work which she refers to as “a labor of love.”

From the article:

“Jane Austen’s novels celebrate that middling class of mankind to which it is, after all, most feasible and most fitting to belong. They reform the dispersed soul and inculcate respect for the concealed heart. They afford the example of a correct and uncorrupted tongue, and they encourage us to know ourselves and to judge others rightly.”

There are several interesting comments on my favorite Austen book, Persuasion, including the fact that the author…” had gone to bed one night dissatisfied to the point of depression with the climactic tenth chapter. On the next day she found herself able to write anew the crucial scene…The cancelled chapter was preserved and is reprinted in Memoir [of Jane Austen]. Retrospectively nothing is more obvious than the superiority of her second resolution.”


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