Northanger Abbey was one of Jane Austen's earliest manuscripts; Persuasion was her last. Published together in a single volume after her death, the two books differ widely. Northanger Abbey is a spirited, Gothic parody, while Persuasion has increasingly been seen as a new direction for the Austen canon. The two texts have been widely analysed and debated since publication, and continue to be so today.
In this Readers' Guide, Enit Karafili Steiner:
* delineates a clear trajectory through the books' many interpretations over two centuries, mapping these out thematically and chronologically
* contextualises and brings into dialogue influential approaches such as psychoanalytical criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, New Historicism, and feminism
* discusses film adaptations of the novels and their relation to literary criticism
Enit Karafili Steiner is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Introduction.- 1. From Pen to Print.- 2. Contemporary Reception, 1818-1840s.- 3. Victorian Readers, 1850s-1900s.- 4. The 'Cult of Jane' and the Rise of the Novel, 1900s-1950s.- 5. The Text, the Unconscious, and Commodity, 1950s-1990s.- 6. Political and Historical Austen, 1950s-1990s.- 7. New Millennium, New Directions.- 8. From Words to Image and Sound.- Conclusion.- Endnotes.- Bibliography.- Index.