Student Companion to Jane Austen

By Debra Teachman | Go to book overview

2
Literary Heritage

What is probably Jane Austen's most famous statement about her novel writing is the quotation taken from a letter to her nephew in which she refers to her writing as "the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush, as produces little effect after much labour" ( Jane Austen: Selected Letters189). This quotation has often been used to support the idea that Austen saw her novels as minor stories of little import in a world of finer, more significant writing. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. The context of this famous quotation is a joke. Her young nephew, Edward, had been writing a novel of his own, but had somehow misplaced two and a half chapters. When Austen heard about the loss in a letter she received, she responded with sympathy and humor. Austen's comment was a way of jokingly distancing herself from the loss, claiming that she could certainly not have stolen the chapters for her own writing since she had not been present to take them, nor would his wildly elaborate, probably gothic, style of writing fit into her own more sedate and detailed form of writing. Her writing style had more in common, she implies, with the popular Dutch miniaturist painters of the time than with the Antiquaries, monastic ruins, and vicious villains of the gothic novel. By comparing her novels with the paintings of the Dutch miniaturists, Austen was, in fact, comparing the subject of her novels with art that was highly honored and appreciated in her day, not belittling it, as is so often assumed by her Victorian and twentieth-century critics and biographers.

-21-

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

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 page

Bookmark this page
Student Companion to Jane Austen
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • 1 - The Life of Jane Austen 1
  • 2 - Literary Heritage 21
  • 3 - Sense and Sensibility (1811) 37
  • 4 - Pride and Prejudice (1813) 53
  • 5 - Mansfield Park (1814) 71
  • 6 - Emma (1815) 89
  • 7 - Northanger Abbey (1818) 109
  • 8 - Persuasion (1818) 129
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 155
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
/ 160

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.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, 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."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.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.