Jane Austen (RLE Jane Austen)
A French Appreciation
Translated by Verronica Lucas
Routledge – 2011 – 248 pages
First published in 1924, this unique title provides an extremely valuable early Twentieth Century perspective on Jane Austen, offering analysis from both sides of the channel. The book includes both a translated study of Jane Austen by French academic Léonie Villard, and a study by influential biographer and critic, R. Brimley Johnson.
Johnson's study, made with particular reference to the unpublished epistolary novel, Love and Friendship, seeks to redress the balance of contemporary criticism of Austen, challenging the established links between Austen and Nineteenth Century realism, and suggesting instead that her work owes a great deal to the conventions of romance. He also demonstrates how her art transformed from the parody of Nothanger Abbey to the portraiture of the later novels.
Léonie Villard's ambitious work analyses a variety of topics relating to Austen's work, including women and marriage, psychology, satire, the gentry and the lasting value and scope of the novels. All in all, a very engaging, informative and insightful reissue.
Part I: New Study of Jane Austen 1. The Birth of Genius 2. Jane Austen - Book Lover 3. Life Must Correct Romance 4. The "Evergreen Follies" of Fiction 5. A Few "Romance-Persons" in the Novels 6. From Parody to Portraiture Part II: Jane Austen and her Work 1. Woman, Love and Marriage 2. The Psychology of Jane Austen 3. Her Art 4. Humour and Satire 5. Value and Scope of Jane Austen's Work 6. Portrait's of the "Gentry"