Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Unbounded AttachmentSentiment and Politics in the Age of the French Revolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Harriet Guest

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686810.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 July 2020

‘Inadvertencies and misconstructions’: Jane Austen’s Heroines

‘Inadvertencies and misconstructions’: Jane Austen’s Heroines

(p.162) 5 ‘Inadvertencies and misconstructions’: Jane Austen’s Heroines
Unbounded Attachment

Harriet Guest

Oxford University Press

In Jane Austen’s novels the lives of her female protagonists are circumscribed, but their intense inward and domestic focus discloses the permeability of the boundaries that confine them. Austen seems to respond quite directly and react sharply against the directness of communication which had been an ideal for progressive thinkers and reformers in the 1790s. In both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, the earliest of her full-length novels to be published, the narrative depends on, even celebrates, the inability of characters to speak their minds or exchange their thoughts. As often as not it is the impediments and misunderstandings hindering the transmission of information that provide matter for the development of the plot in her work. But the obscurities that impede candid exchange of the kind that Godwin appreciated work to emphasise the importance of the unspoken sense of fellow-feeling which enables Austen’s heroines to negotiate the complexities of their social worlds. Their capacity for sympathetic sentiment is understood to complement the professional responsibilities male characters are expected with increasing insistence to fulfill. Novels discussed include Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Sanditon.

Keywords:   Austen, conversation, misunderstanding, incoherence, silence, modernity, profession

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .