Penny Gay reviews 'The Hidden Jane Austen' by John Wiltshire

Penny Gay reviews 'The Hidden Jane Austen' by John Wiltshire

The Hidden Jane Austen

by John Wiltshire

Cambridge University Press, $44.95 pb, 207 pp, 9781107643642

Penny Gay

Penny Gay

Penny Gay is Professor Emerita in English Literature and Drama at the University of Sydney. Her books include Jane Austen and the

...

John Wiltshire, the distinguished Austen scholar based at La Trobe University, has produced his fourth book on Jane Austen since 1992. Here, in a return to the critical bedrock of close reading, he invites us to share his pursuit of the ‘hidden’ Jane Austen – the supremely nuanced prose stylist.

Wiltshire argues that historical context is ultimately less important than ‘the implicit suggestions about human motive and behaviours that are conveyed in the pauses and implications of her prose’. His approach is informed by twentieth-century understandings of psychology and cognition, but he wears this theory lightly. His aim is simply to unpack Austen’s perceptions of the whole business of how we negotiate, through language, our lives in the community.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in May 2015, no. 371

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.