By William Deresiewicz
Ahead of Jane Austen, William Deresiewicz used to be a truly diversified younger guy. A sullen and smug graduate scholar, he by no means concept Austen could have something to supply him. Then he learn Emma—and every little thing changed.
In this distinctive and lyrical e-book, Deresiewicz weaves the misadventures of Austen’s characters together with his personal younger follies, demonstrating the facility of the nice novelist’s teachings—and how, for Austen, turning out to be up and making errors are one and an analogous. sincere, erudite, and deeply relocating, A Jane Austen Education is the tale of 1 man’s discovery of the realm open air himself.
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Extra info for A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter
Pondering extra of her pug than her children”—was as gorgeous, lively, and clever as a dear throw pillow. Maria and Julia, the Bertram daughters, have been slick and spoiled. (“Their vainness used to be in such stable order,” Austen advised us, “that they rather loose from it. ”) Tom, the older son, used to be an irresponsible playboy. after which there has been Mrs. Norris, girl Bertram’s sister, essentially the most repulsive personality in all of Austen: spiteful, miserly, and suggest as dust, a girl who reacted to the dying of her husband “by seeing that she might do rather well with out him” and who harried Fanny—“Remember, at any place you're, you need to be the bottom and last”—like a depraved stepmother. yet certainly the complete relatives handled the heroine like a glorified servant—that is, once they to note her in any respect. the total kinfolk yet one. Edmund, the type, attentive more youthful son, was once an oasis of decency in a desolate tract of selfishness. yet even he was once difficult for me to take—as right and priggish as Fanny herself, and actually, as her mentor and loved older cousin, the only basically answerable for making her that method. Nor was once Edmund any much less proof against the lures of hypocrisy. He, too, hostile the play—until he observed the opportunity to do some flirting of his personal. now not that he seemed it like that, in fact. the forged used to be one brief, and Edmund basically took the unclaimed half to prevent the higher impropriety of getting to offer it to a person outdoor the kin circle. It additionally simply occurred to contain enjoying contrary a tender girl in whom by means of then he had built a slightly greater than blameless curiosity. For a brand new pair of teens had arrived upon the scene. Henry and Mary Crawford, whose part sister used to be the spouse of the Mansfield clergyman, have been every thing, it looked as if it would me, that the unconventional were wanting, a gust of clean air from past the musty confines of Mansfield Park. Henry used to be rushing and debonair, a sophisticate, a raconteur, a guy of the world—cleverer than Tom, extra convinced than Edmund, and much more enjoyable than both one. As for his “remarkably beautiful” sister—healthy and high-spirited; witty, playful, and independent—she jogged my memory of nobody rather a lot as Elizabeth Bennet. “I am very strong,” Mary stated, bouncing off a horse. “Nothing ever fatigues me yet doing what i don't like. ” She even got here with an additional little sprint of sauciness. Henry and Mary have been raised via their uncle, a high-ranking naval officer. “My domestic at my uncle’s introduced me familiar with a circle of admirals,” she quipped at one aspect; “Of Rears, and Vices, I observed enough”—a naughty pun on army ranks and the sexual attractiveness of the Royal army. The Crawfords have been independently prosperous, and their funds gave them a freedom of spirit that used to be formerly unknown to the heavy surroundings of Mansfield Park. Their arrival jolted either the Bertram siblings and the unconventional itself conscious. Walks, rides, outings, the play—suddenly it was once all liveliness and move. after all, Fanny herself used to be appalled. those weren't her type of humans, or her inspiration of the way to go the time (which tended to contain loads of sitting).