Edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio
Chapter 2: Jane Austen bowls a googly: the juvenilia
The second chapter focuses on the youthful works—the juvenilia—of Jane Austen, iconic novelist of society and manners in the long eighteenth century. It suggests that the young Austen’s literary work contains a radically critical attitude toward the prescriptiveness of her era. Austen’s Juvenilia contain extreme behaviors and suggestions, including murder, heresy, fraud and drunken debauchery. The chapter argues that this radical early content paves the way for Austen’s later novels and illustrates her unchanging penchant for rejecting a society she believed to be fundamentally irrational.
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