Jane Austen the Secret Radical
By Helena Kelly
If ever you need some firepower against the Bronte-ites this is the ticket. Read Jane Austen as a social commentary of the times and fascination aside, you will turn your back on the Gothic novels of Charlotte, Emily and Anne.
An iconoclastic re-evaluation of one of English literature’s most celebrated novelists.
Almost everything we think we know about Jane Austen is wrong. Her novels don’t confine themselves to grand houses and they were not written just for readers’ enjoyment. She writes about serious subjects and her books are deeply subversive. We just don’t read her properly – we haven’t been reading her properly for 200 years. Jane Austen, The Secret Radical puts that right. In her first, brilliantly original book, Austen expert Helena Kelly introduces the reader to a passionate woman living in an age of revolution; to a writer who used what was regarded as the lightest of literary genres, the novel, to grapple with the weightiest of subjects – feminism, slavery, abuse, the treatment of the poor, the power of the Church, even evolution – at a time, and in a place, when to write about such things directly was seen as akin to treason.Uncovering a radical, spirited and political engaged Austen, Jane Austen, The Secret Radical will encourage you to read Jane, all over again.