A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen

A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen

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Author: Jenkyns, Richard

Brand: Oxford University Press

Edition: 1

Binding: Hardcover

Number Of Pages: 230

Release Date: 15-10-2004

Details: Product Description Jane Austen's work was a true triumph of the comic spirit--of deep comedy, rising from the heart of human life. In A Fine Brush on Ivory, Richard Jenkyns takes us on an amiable tour of Austen's fictional world, opening a window on some of the great works of world literature. Focusing largely on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, but with many diverting side trips to Austen's other novels, Jenkyns shines a loving light on the exquisite craftsmanship and profound moral imagination that informs her writing. Readers will find, for instance, a wonderful discussion of characterization in Austen. Jenkyns's insight into figures such as Mr. Bennett or Mrs. Norris is brilliant--particularly his portrait of the amusing, clever, always ironic Mr. Bennett, whose humor (Jenkyns shows) arises out of a deeply unhappy and disappointing marriage. The author pays due homage to Austen's unmatched skill with complex plotting--the beauty with which the primary plot and the various subplots are woven together--highlighting the infinite care she took to make each plot detail as natural and as plausible as possible. Perhaps most important, Jenkyns illuminates the heart of Austen's moral imagination: she is constantly aware, throughout her works, of the nearness of evil to the comfortable social surface. She knows that the socially acceptable sins may be truly cruel and vicious, knows that society can be red in tooth and claw, and yet she allows the pleasures of comedy and celebration to subordinate them. Insightful and highly entertaining, A Fine Brush on Ivory captures the spirit and originality of Jane Austen's work. It will be a cherished keepsake or gift for her many fans. From Booklist Given that there are so many Janeites, this book is that rare case of a critical study that might be taken up as eagerly by knowledgeable general readers as by students. Oxford professor Jenkyns examines Austen's novels, particularly Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and emma, elucidating how each demonstrates the challenges she set for herself. Because of what seems on the surface to be a fairly narrow range (in her own words, "the little bit [two Inches wide] of Ivory on which I work with so fine a brush"), Austen is sometimes taken by modern readers to be an unadventurous writer, but Jenkyns makes a convincing case that she was a true creative genius who was always experimenting. Frequent references to recent film and television adaptations add an extra fillip to his discussions. Not all readers will agree with Jenkyns' bias toward particular books, but his lucid and lively study makes even dreary Fanny Price of Mansfield Park seem worth another reading. Mary Ellen Quinn Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved Review "The subtitle of his slim volume perhaps best sums up the theme: this is indeed an appreciation of Austen and her work. This theme is carried out with gusto. Jenkyns contends early on that there is hardly another novelist of whom one may so readily say, 'That chapter, that paragraph, that sentence is a moment of genius'... Highly recommended."--Library Journal About the Author Richard Jenkyns is Professor of the Classical Tradition and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

EAN: 9780199276615

Package Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches

Languages: English