In her exploration of the moral tradition shared between Jane Austen and George Eliot, Rose Pimentel argues that a common ethical dynamic between the two authors, and what would later be known as the realist novel, emerged from an emphasis on reflection as introspection that was widespread in the eighteenth century. Pimentel examines what she calls the reflective tradition across a range of discourses, including moral philosophy, children’s literature, the novel, poetry, educational tracts and sermons, that would have been familiar to Austen. Through the lens of Eliot and George Henry Lewis’s shared readings of Austen, Pimentel shows how Austen draws on and expands ideas of reflection from the eighteenth century. Thus, her reading of Eliot in the 1850s reflects on to Austen while her reading of Austen, in turn, reflects back on to Eliot as she analyzes the ways in which Eliot developed this aspect of Austen’s art. By placing Austen’s and Eliot’s novels in a rich and reflective dialogue, Pimentel enriches our understanding of their work in a way that views neither the reflective tradition nor the development of the novel as teleological.
Table of contents to come.
The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series, the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global. Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies. The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies.