What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan was published in 2012. It’s subtitled – Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved.
Chapter 1 is titled – How Much Does Age Matter? and I wasn’t too impressed with this one because it seemed to be aimed mainly at people who probably hadn’t actually read any Austen books, but had just watched the films or serials. I didn’t learn anything from it but as I read my way through the book I did find bits and pieces of it interesting.
However chapter 11 is titled – Is There Any Sex In Jane Austen? Really!! her books are full of sex, and even Mrs Bennet hadn’t given up all hope of ever having a son, which was not actually mentioned in the book but was clear to me even the first time I read Pride and Prejudice. Although Mullan does mention that Mrs Bennet is probably only just past 40.
This book will be more useful for people who don’t have a reasonably good idea of what life in Georgian England was like, or people who don’t read her books carefully, savouring the details.
It has however made me think that it’s high time I reread some of the Austen books which I haven’t read since I was a teenager.
I hardly dare say it, but today it didn’t rain and there was this strange yellow orb hanging in the sky. No doubt it was just an aberration and normal services will return soon – rain and storms are forecast for later in the week again. Very depressing, but I mustn’t grumble as at least we aren’t living in any of the many flooded areas of Scotland and northern England. You can read about storm Desmond here. We had intended going down to Dumfries and Carlisle for a few days before Christmas too, thank goodness I suffer from terminal procrastination otherwise we would probably have been caught up in it all. At least I’ve been getting plenty of reading done.
In the Guardian Review section this week there’s an article you might be interested in if you are into Jane Austen. Is anyone not a fan? – I ask myself. You can read How Jane Austen’s Emma changed the shape of fiction by John Mullan here.
Meanwhile, back at the library I’ve been borrowing these:
the distance between us by Maggie O’Farrell
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The Lonely Skier by Hammond Innes
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
Whay Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
I’ve finished Go Set a Watchman which I swithered about reading but I really enjoyed and have plenty to say about it, soon I hope.
I’m annoyed about the Louise Penny book because it’s one which I somehow missed when I was working my way through the Three Pines series, so it’ll be all out of whack!