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In this major study, leading Austen scholar John Wiltshire offers new interpretations of Jane Austen's six novels, Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (1818). Much recent criticism of Austen has concentrated on the social, historical and intellectual context of her work, but Wiltshire turns attention back to Austen's prose techniques. Arguing that each of Austen's works has its own distinct focus and underlying agenda, he shows how Austen's interest in psychology, and especially her treatment of attention and the various forms of memory, helped shape her narratives. Through a series of compelling close readings of key passages in each novel, Wiltshire underscores Austen's unique ability to penetrate the hidden inner motives and impulses of her characters, and reveals some of the secrets of her narrative art.
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