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Jane Austen and the Body: 'The Picture of Health'
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Jane Austen and the Body: 'The Picture of Health'

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Jane Austen has been thought of as a novelist of manners whose work discreetly avoids discussing the physical. John Wiltshire shows, on the contrary, how important are bodies and faces, illness and health, in the novels, from complainers and invalids such as Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Woodhouse, to the frail, debilitated Fanny Price, the vulnerable Jane Fairfax and the "picture o ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published March 16th 2006 by Cambridge University Press (first published September 24th 1992)
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Kirk
"Jane Austen and The Body" by John Wiltshire

3.5 Regency Teacups

I have met John Wiltshire three times at JASNA MA. He is quite a courteous gentleman. So, I had really hoped to love this book. The Introduction was quite difficult to read. It concerns certain theories about the body and the critical tradition concerning Jane Austen. There are five chapters in the book. 1) Sense, sensibility and the proofs of affection 2)'Eloquent blood': the coming out of Fanny Price 3) Emma: the picture of health
...more
Robert J.
While this is an important work on the work of Jane Austen, it could probably be half the length with decent editing. The language is overwritten and far to in love with big words, Foucault, and modern literary criticism to be a good read. Still, Wiltshire has pegged a great many aspects of Austen's work as centered in the physical parts of existence--not setting, but health and the body. Particularly with respect to Mansfield Park and Emma, the two best chapters, I felt I knew a lot more about ...more
Maggie
The chapter on Mansfield Park changed my view of the novel completely. Fanny's weak body is treated as a subversive critique of her lack of power. Henry and Bertram, senior both exert their willpower over her and extoll her servitude. When viewed this way, Fanny's story becomes a killer critique of social ideals or and treatment of women. Amazing.

"The body...as a focus and site of social and economic power relations."

Hypochondria as a luxury of the wealthy and a power play. Emma's health as a r
...more
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