Jenny Davidson's "Reading Jane Austen" named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2018.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

In this deft study, Davidson provides fascinating details about how Austen’s novels were written and the world in which they were composed so modern readers might enjoy them even more. The social, publication, and narrative contexts Davidson fills in help one understand, for example, how the postal service worked in the late 18th century and why letters might have been hand delivered rather than mailed; that the printed versions of Austen’s works did not reflect Austen’s spelling and punctuation because spelling and punctuation were not yet fixed and were often the purview of printers; that Austen wrote in free, indirect style, which had only recently had been used in England; and what being an intelligent woman in Austen’s times and in Austen’s works meant.