Penny Gay

Why do we need another edition of Mansfield Park? Particularly, what is the justification for an expensive one, when we can get a plain reprint for $5, or a well-annotated paperback for $10? The answer is the one that all scholarly editors are driven by: editorial principles have changed. What was considered acceptable textual practice even twenty years ago no longer fulfils readers’ desires to get close to origins, to understand contexts.

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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 ...