Abstract

In most of her novels, Jane Austen goes to considerable lengths to offer the reader information about the financial circumstances of her characters, and failure to appreciate its significance can lead to serious misunderstanding of their social status. Although there is nothing bourgeois about the Bertrams, Sir Thomas' "West Indian property" has misled recent critics into regarding him as a "great West Indian," and it has even been implied that Austen is herself a bourgeois writer. While her novels are preoccupied with issues of entitlement and rank, she should be included among the "well-bred country gentlemen and ladies" she describes in her novels, and not within the ranks of the middle classes or the "pseudo-gentry."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 69-84
Launched on MUSE
2006-09-26
Open Access
No
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