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Language, Style and Literature

The Language of Jane Austen

Authors: Bray, Joe

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  • Offers a stylistic analysis of the full body Jane Austen’s work, including her juvenilia, early works and unfinished novel
  • Takes account of the latest developments in the rapidly-expanding field of stylistics, and brings the study of Austen's language into the twenty-first century
  • Challenges claims of a single dominant, centralising, and authoritative point of view in Austen’s fiction
  • Presents a reassessment of Austen’s language that will challenge common critical assumptions
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eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-72162-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: March 16, 2018
  • ISBN 978-3-319-72161-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover $99.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: April 3, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89150-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

Joe Bray’s careful analysis of Jane Austen’s stylistic techniques reveals that the genius of her writing is far from effortless; rather he makes the case for her as a meticulous craftswoman and a radical stylistic pioneer. Countering those who have detected in her novels a dominant, authoritative perspective, Bray begins by highlighting the complex, ever-shifting and ambiguous nature of the point of view through which her narratives are presented. This argument is then advanced through an exploration of the subtle representation of speech, thought and writing in Austen’s novels. Subsequent chapters investigate and challenge the common critical associations of Austen’s style with moral prescriptivism, ideas of balance and harmony, and literal as opposed to figurative expression. The book demonstrates that the wit and humour of her fiction is derived instead from a complex and subtle interplay between different styles. This compelling reassessment of Austen’s language will offer a valuable resource for students and scholars of stylistics, English literature and language and linguistics.

About the authors

Joe Bray is Professor of Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is the author of The Epistolary Novel: Representations of Consciousness (2003), The Female Reader in the English Novel (2009), The Portrait in Fiction of the Romantic Period (2016), and co-editor of, amongst others, The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (2012). 

Reviews

“Joe Bray’s book is a refreshing departure from this prescription. In it, Professor Bray proposes to reacquaint us with the sophistication and experimental nature of Austen’s way with language, characterisation, and narrative technique through a series of close readings of key passages from her fiction using the analytic tools of modern stylistics. … Joe Bray has written an interesting and informative study, a useful guide for students wishing to understand the texture of Austen’s language.” (Kathryn Sutherland, Cercles, cercles.com, February, 2019)



“As competing versions of Everyone’s Dear Jane continue to proliferate, it is especially good to have this solid, subtle analysis of the many ways that Austen’s shimmering prose represents multiple and shifting points of view. Joe Bray argues that there is no omniscient, coercive author: the reader is in charge. Persuasively, leaning hard on especially brilliant passages, he demonstrates that Jane Austen engages and delights us by requiring us, precisely, to read.” (Rachel Brownstein, City University of New York, USA)

“Why do we so latch onto the bit of Austen’s letter where she writes of working on her “little bit (two inches wide) of ivory” to “little effect after much labour”, without factoring in that she is the greatest ironist in English literature?  Rather we should notice her adjacent declaration: that she works with “so fine a brush”.  Joe Bray’s authoritative study shows how very fine the brushwork  of her language is: how viewpoint, evaluation, and knowledge of self and others is constantly shifting in her novels, and how this challenges the necessarily ‘active’ reader to keep up with these subtle illuminations of her characters’ uncertainties of motive and desire.  Yes, she judges, but with compassion—as often empathetic and affectionate as ironizing and critical—as Bray’s meticulous stylistic exposition freshly reveals.” (Michael Toolan, University of Birmingham, UK)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-72162-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: March 16, 2018
  • ISBN 978-3-319-72161-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover $99.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: April 3, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89150-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Language of Jane Austen
Authors
Series Title
Language, Style and Literature
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-72162-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-72162-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-72161-3
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-89150-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 182
Topics