Download e-book for kindle: A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen by Richard Jenkyns

By Richard Jenkyns

ISBN-10: 0191514160

ISBN-13: 9780191514166

ISBN-10: 0199210993

ISBN-13: 9780199210992

ISBN-10: 0199276617

ISBN-13: 9780199276615

Jane Austen's paintings used to be a real triumph of the comedian spirit--of deep comedy, emerging from the guts of human lifestyles. In A effective Brush on Ivory, Richard Jenkyns takes us on an amiable journey of Austen's fictional international, commencing a window on the various nice works of worldwide literature. Focusing mostly on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, yet with many diverting facet journeys to Austen's different novels, Jenkyns shines a loving gentle at the beautiful craftsmanship and profound ethical mind's eye that informs her writing. Readers will locate, for example, an excellent dialogue of characterization in Austen. Jenkyns's perception into figures similar to Mr. Bennett or Mrs. Norris is brilliant--particularly his portrait of the fun, shrewdpermanent, consistently ironic Mr. Bennett, whose humor (Jenkyns exhibits) arises out of a deeply unsatisfied and disappointing marriage. the writer can pay due homage to Austen's unrivaled ability with advanced plotting--the attractiveness with which the first plot and a few of the subplots are woven together--highlighting the limitless care she took to make every one plot element as ordinary and as believable as attainable. maybe most vital, Jenkyns illuminates the guts of Austen's ethical mind's eye: she is consistently conscious, all through her works, of the nearness of evil to the cozy social floor. She is familiar with that the socially appropriate sins will be really merciless and cruel, understands that society could be purple in teeth and claw, and but she permits the pleasures of comedy and get together to subordinate them. Insightful and hugely unique, A positive Brush on Ivory captures the spirit and originality of Jane Austen's paintings. it is going to be a loved souvenir or present for her many enthusiasts.

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Example text

Charles, despite ending with an admiral's rank, had a life dogged with misfortune; some of his descendants continued upper middle-class, but one of his great-grandsons became a grocer's assistant, another a bricklayer. Jane Austen understood such social flux: her women may have the chance to make a brilliant match, but they also face the danger of penurious spinsterhood, and if they attract a suitor who is below them in the social scale, they may have to weigh the odds and decide whether to accept or hold out for the uncertain chance of something better.

Their tale is interesting for the light that it sheds on social history, but it may also help us to understand the world about which Jane Austen wrote and some realities that her first readers took for granted. The Austens were in origin tradesmen in Kent who made money and lifted themselves into the lower reaches of gentility. But for complicated reasons to do with deaths and problems with wills the early life of George 24 THE SHAPE OF COMEDY Austen, Jane's father, was difficult and insecure. However, he got himself to Oxford and into a college fellowship; luckily, he was handsome and married well.

She knows that the socially acceptable sins—what our own age often calls peccadilloes—may be truly cruel and vicious, and are not the less so for being common. '4 We may be certain that Wickham's intended crime, the seduction of an impressionable adolescent with a great deal of money, would very soon have made her miserable, and caused much other distress. It would have been indeed a wicked act, and yet its successful execution would not have brought about social disgrace; 28 THE SHAPE OF COMEDY perhaps, on the contrary, an entree into good society.

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A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen by Richard Jenkyns

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