Jane Austen and the Fiction of Her Time

By Mary Waldron | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
The non-heiresses: 'The Watsons' and 'Pride
and Prejudice'

Jane Austen's continuous consciousness of the fictional tradition within which she worked has frequently been discussed by scholars and critics. In Pride and Prejudice there is a strong structural and thematic connection with the novels of Fanny Burney especially with Cecilia (1782), but also with Camilla, published in 1796 1 when Austen was reportedly engaged with the first draft of the novel, entitled 'First Impressions'. 2 My own analysis of the interaction between Burney and Austen between 1796 and the final publication of Pride and Prejudice differs somewhat from that of others, as will become evident in what follows. Too often the search for a consistent set of moral objectives has led critics to conclude that Austen has failed in her attempts to subvert Burney, suggesting, as Marilyn Butler has done, that she has 'badly fudged the moral issue' and left the reader in a 'moral limbo'. 'Confusion enters', she writes, 'because as a whole intelligence is represented as faulty in the novel. ' 3 Examining Pride and Prejudice's probable genesis and some of its crucial episodes will strongly suggest that the 'confusion' is intended, and is itself part of the challenge to Austen's contemporaries.

In contrast to the novels of sensibility in the Mackenzie manner, Fanny Burney's fiction seems almost obsessively concerned with money. Sentimental heroes and heroines often seem to be able to do without the vulgar necessities of life - indeed, Austen herself caricatures this attitude in Love and Freindship, as we have seen, and comments more seriously on it in Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne dismisses money '“beyond a competence”' as irrelevant (SS 91). Burney also clearly intended to cut through this high-minded contempt for the practicalities of life by showing how very necessary, particularly to women, was the certainty of a 'provision'; in Cecilia, the heroine's great inheritance is dependent on her marrying a man who will take her name instead of giving her his; dissolute and

-37-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Jane Austen and the Fiction of Her Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 194

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.