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nUIYll\.i"lllU:." .:t-"'J This volume is a valuable addition to the Yale johnson and will be especially welcomed by students of religious thought and expression in the eighteenth century. The editing is careful and intelligent, as one would expect from two such scholars as Hagstrum and Gray. The introduction tells one everything essential to be known before reading the sermons. The annotation is informative and extensive without overwhelming either the reader or the text. My only quarrel with the editors would be over their characterization of sermon 9 as inferior to the rest. In my view it is one of the liveliest and best in the collection. (JAMES DOWNEY) Juliet McMaster. Jane Austen on Love English Literary Studies Monograph Series No. 13 University of Victoria 1978. 85, illus. $3 .75 paper juliet McMaster's Jane Austen on Love is unpretentious in format and length, a paperback with only about eighty pages of text, but it is one of the shrewdest and most graceful books we have on jane Austen. It consists of four essays on approximately the same theme, the first three of which had previously been published in somewhat unfamiliar journals. We are fortunate to have them joined and extended here. Everyone of course accepts that 'love' is important in jane Austen's novels, for 'it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' Mrs Bennet is of course right, but Professor McMaster's theme is neither the economic nor the romantic motives for marriage. She rightly and with considerable originality emphasizes the erotic appeal and actions of jane Austen's heroines. She deftly mocks those who miss the clearly marked sexual context in these apparently discrete young ladies, who are scarcely alone with their suitors - and are never kissed by them in the pages of the novels. Indeed, even the proposal scenes depicted are mostly devised by jane Austen as examples of folly, as when the Rev Mr Collins and Darcy so disconcertingly demonstrate their amour propre rather than their love for Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. She claims that Pride and Prejudice 'fairly rings with the jubilant fertility of spring' and that Elizabeth exhibits an extraordinary 'sexual vitality' (pp 48-9). She traces such sexual vitality in all six novels and demonstrates that its force is not diminished by the discretion with which it is displayed. Perhaps the most effective section of the book is the one in which Professor McMaster demonstrates that Jane Austen is deliberately adapting the literary conventions of love, which are most memorably displayed in Shakespeare's comedies and analysed dispassionately in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. She shows convincingly that these conventions, if not their literary vehicles, were clearly in the minds of 424 LEITERS IN CANADA 1979 both author and heroines. In Sense and Sensibility, 'Marianne is a classic case of love melancholy' (p 19), and in Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth is struck by Darcy's portrait at Pemberley, 'Burton would have signed her up for a course of emergency treatment at once' (p 25). Juliet McMaster is also particularly effective in the chapter on 'Love and Pedagogy,' in which she shows how the role of the teacher in Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice - indeed in all the novels - merges with, is often indistinguishable from, that oflover. And of course it is a reciprocal relationship: Fanny teaches Edmund more important truths than he learns from her, and Elizabeth Bennet learns most when she has been most schoolmarmish with Darcy. In sum, this is a book of real distinction, a pleasure to read for itself and one which alllovers ofJane Austen should know. I believe it to be among the half-dozen best critical works on her novels. Would that it were longer - and that Juliet McMaster would expand this modest beginning to a work dealing as perspicaciously and engagingly with other central issues in Jane Austen as she has dealt here with 'ane Austen on Love. (G.E. BENTLEY, JR) Christina Duff Stewart, editor. Ann Taylor Gilbert's Album Garland Publishing 1978. xxxiv, 679, illus, and facsimiles. $65.00 The Taylors...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 423-424
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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