1. How much does age matter?
2. Do sisters sleep together?
3. What do the characters call each other?
4. How do Jane Austen's characters look?
5. Who dies in the course of her novels?
6. Why is it risky to go to the seaside?
7. Why is the weather important?
8. Do we ever see the lower classes?
9. Which important characters never speak in the novels?
10. What games do characters play?
11. Is there any sex in Jane Austen?
12. What do characters say when the heroine is not there?
13 How much money is enough?
14. Why do her plots rely on blunders?
15. What do characters read?
16. Are ill peoplereally to blame for their illnesses?
17. What Makes characters blush?
18. What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage?
19. When does Jane Austen speak directly to the reader?
20. How experimental a novelist is Jane Austen?
In What Matters in Jane Austen?, John Mullan shows that we can best appreciate Austen's brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction. Asking and answering some very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, he reveals the inner workings of their greatness.
In twenty short chapters, each of which explores a question prompted by Austens novels, Mullan illuminates the themes that matter most in her beloved fiction. Readers will discover when Austen's characters had their meals and what shops they went to; how vicars got good livings; and how wealth was inherited. What Matters in Jane Austen? illuminates the rituals and conventions of her fictional world in order to reveal her technical virtuosity and daring as a novelist. It uses telling passages from Austen's letters and details from her own life to explain episodes in her novels: readers will find out, for example, what novels she read, how much money she had to live on, and what she saw at the theater.
Written with flair and based on a lifetime's study, What Matters in Jane Austen? will allow readers to appreciate Jane Austen's work in greater depth than ever before.
[adapted from Amazon.com]