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Miss Austen


A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
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"Men have had every advantage over us in telling their own story..." How does this novel rewrite the story? Would you consider it to be feminist?

Created: 04/06/21

Replies: 5

Posted Apr. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

"Men have had every advantage over us in telling their own story..." How does this novel rewrite the story? Would you consider it to be feminist?

The epigraph of Miss Austen is from Persuasion: "Men have had every advantage over us in telling their own story…The pen has been in their hands." How does this novel rewrite the story? Would you consider it to be feminist?


Posted Apr. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rachelh

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 46

RE: "Men have had every ...

Literary scholarship is still a predominantly male field, and most research that has been done on Jane Austen over the years has been by men. I think novels like this and Austen biographies by female scholars are a great opportunity to peel back the "male gaze" from the way we look at history, and to try to tell these stories through women's points of view. I do think Hornby's novel was successfully feminist in that regard.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: "Men have had every ...

I do think it was feminist. This book did rewrite the story, but sadly it will only be known by those who read this book.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: "Men have had every ...

I agree with rachelh. Men had control over publishing adn how women's books were edited and rewriting often times. I think so much was accepted by men about how women thought and accepted their fates that their was no allowing for different ideas or thoughts about women . Men didn't give women much credit for their thoughts and observations.
Yes this is a feminist books! It gives readers a chance to view the authors world when she was writing .


Posted Apr. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kathy Ann

Join Date: 04/11/21

Posts: 7

RE: "Men have had every ...

it would depend on one's definition of feminist lit. Romance Novels are considered feminist in some circles as they are written by women for women, but I am not always sure that that makes them empowering for women. Women have a lot of gifts and we live in a very misogynist world. I am not sure that this novel will change that as this novel as far as I can see is only being discussed here. Much of the political discussion is going on elsewhere in the book world and this title does not appear on any of those lists. Not to say that the feminist reader lists are the only ones to consult for women's issues, but this novel does not tell a complete tale on feminism, either. Maybe men have too much to say in publishing, that seems to have always been the case, but we need courageous women stories and not letter burning and pushing people down the stairs kinds of stories.


Posted Apr. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: "Men have had every ...

I guess I have to agree that this is a feminist work, if only because it does present the feminine view of the situation and the strength of several of the female characters, but I'm not sure. Is that what makes a work feminist? I don't really know - I am not accustomed to looking at events of any kind in this light.

I think the author did a wonderful job of writing the text in the manner of Austen and in furthering our knowledge of how women lived in that era as well as making us aware of how one woman sought to control the perception of others with regard to the life and writing of her sister, still a most beloved author. Many readers may have been unaware this occurred. These are the important values of this book for me.


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