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Jane Austen, an unlikely genius
by John Mullan
About this EXP
John Mullan, Professor of English at University College London, celebrates the unlikely genius of Jane Austen.
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Key point 1
Austen pioneered a method of narration that combined authorial distance and irony with psychological insight. This allowed readers to see the world through her characters’ eyes.
Key point 2
Reading Jane Austen at the peak of her powers is like reading mature Shakespeare. She’s no longer influenced by any other novelist, only by herself.
Key point 3
Austen manages to make every character speak slightly differently and always reveal in everything they say the pressure of their own selfishness, folly or affections.
Other EXPs by John Mullan
Charles Dickens, self-made Victorian sensation
The 18th century novel: commercial and cultural buzz