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The Making of Jane Austen

Devoney Looser

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An engaging account of how Jane Austen became a household name.

Just how did Jane Austen become the celebrity author and the inspiration for generations of loyal fans she is today? Devoney Looser's The Making of Jane Austen turns to the people, performances, activism, and images that fostered Austen's early fame, laying the groundwork for the beloved author we think we know.

Here are the Austen influencers, including her first English illustrator, the eccentric Ferdinand Pickering, whose sensational gothic images may be better understood through his brushes with bullying, bigamy, and an…

An engaging account of how Jane Austen became a household name.

Just how did Jane Austen become the celebrity author and the inspiration for generations of loyal fans she is today? Devoney Looser's The Making of Jane Austen turns to the people, performances, activism, and images that fostered Austen's early fame, laying the groundwork for the beloved author we think we know.

Here are the Austen influencers, including her first English illustrator, the eccentric Ferdinand Pickering, whose sensational gothic images may be better understood through his brushes with bullying, bigamy, and an attempted matricide. The daring director-actress Rosina Filippi shaped Austen's reputation with her pioneering dramatizations, leading thousands of young women to ventriloquize Elizabeth Bennet's audacious lines before drawing room audiences. Even the supposedly staid history of Austen scholarship has its bizarre stories. The author of the first Jane Austen dissertation, student George Pellew, tragically died young, but he was believed by many, including his professor-mentor, to have come back from the dead.

Looser shows how these figures and their Austen-inspired work transformed Austen's reputation, just as she profoundly shaped theirs. Through them, Looser describes the factors and influences that radically altered Austen's evolving image. Drawing from unexplored material, Looser examines how echoes of that work reverberate in our explanations of Austen's literary and cultural power. Whether you're a devoted Janeite or simply Jane-curious, The Making of Jane Austen will have you thinking about how a literary icon is made, transformed, and handed down from generation to generation.

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The Making of Jane Austen

Devoney Looser

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Reviews

Reviews

Energetic and revealing.

One of the most fascinating sections... consequently takes in the wildly different approaches of [Austen’s] early illustrators.

Looser is a sober and conscientiously corrective guide, constantly prompting us to historicise the conventional ways in which we conceive of Austen... This is a studious and sensible book, driven by a commitment to shedding light on Austen's work and context.

Timely and authoritative.

Austen fans have another book to add to their libraries.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
308
ISBN
9781421428994
Illustration Description
23 halftones
Table of Contents

Introduction: Jane Austen Matters
Part I: Jane Austen, Illustrated
1. Austen's First English Illustrator: Ferdinand Pickering's Vioctorian Sensationalism
2. Visual Austen Experiments: From Lush

Introduction: Jane Austen Matters
Part I: Jane Austen, Illustrated
1. Austen's First English Illustrator: Ferdinand Pickering's Vioctorian Sensationalism
2. Visual Austen Experiments: From Lush Landscapes to Bearded Heroes
3. A Golden Age for Illustrated Austen: From Peacocks to Photoplays
Part II: Jane Austen, Dramatized
4. Austen's First Dramatist: Rosina Filippi's Duologues for Every Cultivated Amateur
5. Playing Mr. Darcy before Laurence Olivier: Cross Dressing, Consuming Passion, and Cracking the Whip
6. Dear Jane: Christian Spinster, Feminist Flirt, and Shadow Actress
7. Stage to Screen Pride and Prejudice: Hollywood's Austen and Its Unrealized Screenplays
Part III: Jane Austen, Politicized
8. The Night of the Divine Jane: Men's Club Clashes and Politics in the Periodical Press
9. Stone-Throwing Jane Austen: Suffragist Street Activism, Grand Pageants, and Costume Parties
Part IV: Jane Austen, Schooled
10. The First Jane Austen Dissertation: George Pellew and the Human Telephone
11. Textbook Austens: From McGuffey's Readers to National Lampoon
Coda: Twenty-First Century Jane Austen
Afterword
Acknowledgments
Appendix: Suggested Further Reading
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Devoney Looser

Devoney Looser is a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the editor of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism and coeditor (with E. Ann Kaplan) of Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue.