How do Austen's heroines find a way to prevail in their environments? How do they make the landscape work for them? In what ways does Austen herself use landscape to convey meaning? These are among the questions Barbara Britton Wenner asks as she explores how Austen uses landscape to extend the range of reflection and activity for her female protagonists. Women, Wenner argues, create private spaces within the landscape that offer them the power of knowledge gained through silent and invisible observation. She traces the construction of these hidden refuges in Austen's six major novels, as well as in her juvenilia and her final, unfinished novel, Sanditon. Her book will be an important resource for Austen specialists and for those interested generally in the importance of landscape in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century women's fiction writing.
'… a very well researched book…' Jane Austen Society of Australia Chronicle
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The potential of death by landscape; 'Four white cows disposed at equal distances' -or- steel traps to bowers in Austen's short fiction; Heroines-in-training: the first three; Enclaves of civility amidst clamorous impertinence; The geography of persuasion; Sanditon: half topography, half romance; Some 19th-century reactions, 21st century women in the landscape, and some final remarks; Bibliography; Index.