Liberty In Jane Austen's Persuasion by Kathryn E. DavisLiberty In Jane Austen's Persuasion by Kathryn E. Davis

Liberty In Jane Austen's Persuasion

byKathryn E. Davis

Hardcover | October 20, 2016

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Liberty in Jane Austen's Persuasion is a meditation on Persuasion as a text in which Jane Austen, writing in the Age of Revolution, enters the conversation of her epoch. Poets, philosophers, theologians and political thinkers of the long eighteenth century, including William Cowper, George Gordon Byron, Samuel Johnson, Hugh Blair, Thomas Sherlock, Edmund Burke, and Charles Pasley, endeavored definitively to determine what it means for a human being to be free. Persuasion is Austen's elegant, artful and complex addition to this conversation. In this study, Kathryn Davis proposes that Austen's last complete novel offers an apologia for human liberty primarily understood as self-governance. Austen's characters struggle to attain liberty, not from an oppressive political regime or stifling social conventions, but for a type of excellence that is available to each human being. The novel's presentation of moral virtue has wider cultural significance as a force that shapes both the "little social commonwealth[s]" inhabited by characters of Austen's own making and, possibly, the identity of the nation whose sovereign read Persuasion.
Kathryn E. Davis is assistant professor of English at the University of Dallas.
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Title:Liberty In Jane Austen's PersuasionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:194 pages, 9.28 × 6.44 × 0.78 inPublished:October 20, 2016Publisher:Lehigh University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1611462274

ISBN - 13:9781611462272

Reviews

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations A Beginning: Liberty in Jane Austen's Novels Chapter I: Reading Jane Austen's Readings on Liberty Chapter II: "Though alive, not at liberty": Counterfeits of Liberty in Persuasion Chapter III: The Ultimate Dichotomy: "Prudence" and "Romance" Chapter IV: Towards the Free Movement of the Soul: the Rhetoric of Persuasion Chapter V: The Limits of Human Liberty Conclusion: England and Everywhere Bibliography Index About the Author

Editorial Reviews

Refreshing, clear, and convincing. Davis dialogues graciously yet incisively with contemporary critics and positions Austen's Persuasion as an astute response to eighteenth-century philosophical theology and political thought. Fascinatingly, Davis takes up two writers whom Austen admired-Thomas Sherlock and William Cowper-and proposes their Christian concepts of grace, diligence, and fearlessness informed Austen's ideas about liberty of soul. Davis illustrates how, in an age of revolutions, Austen consciously defined liberty in terms of practical wisdom, spiritual fortitude, active speech, and social responsibility. The result is an illuminating examination of feminine and masculine character growth and the attendant political consequences.