Women and 'Value' in Jane Austen's Novels: Settling, Speculating and Superfluity

Women and 'Value' in Jane Austen's Novels: Settling, Speculating and Superfluity

by Lynda A. Hall

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017)

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Jane Austen’s minor female characters expose the economic and social realties of British women in the long eighteenth century and reflect the conflict between intrinsic and expressed value within the evolving marketplace, where fluctuations and fictions inherent in the economic and moral value structures are exposed. Just as the newly-minted paper money was struggling to express its value, so do Austen’s minor female characters struggle to assert their intrinsic value within a marketplace that expresses their worth as bearers of dowries. Austen’s minor female characters expose the plight of women who settle for transactional marriages, become speculators and predators, or become superfluous women who have left the marriage market and battle for personal significance and existence. These characters illustrate the ambiguity of value within the marriage market economy, exposing women’s limited choices. This book employs a socio-historical framework, considering the rise of a competitive consumer economy juxtaposed with affective individualism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319844787
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 07/12/2018
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 225
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lynda A. Hall is Assistant Professor of English at Chapman University, California, USA. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and teaches courses in Jane Austen, the English Gothic novel, literature and terror. She has published several papers about Austen and has spoken at regional, national, and international conferences.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction.- Chapter 2. Money, Value, and Circulation.- Chapter 3. Marriage, Credit, and a Woman's Education.- Chapter 4. Sense and Settling.- Chapter 5. Speculation and Predatory Behaviour.- Chapter 6. Superfluous, Invisible, and Invalid.- Chapter 7. The Minor Protagonist or the Reluctant Heroine.- Bibliography.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Lynda Hall shines a spotlight on the supporting cast of female characters in Jane Austen’s novels: the superfluous who struggle to retain intrinsic value in an economy does not value them, the desperate who marry for solely for security, and the ambitious who speculate on the marriage market, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. These minor characters reveal the grim reality of a woman’s lot in early nineteenth-century Britain and underscore the dark futures that could have faced heroines like Elizabeth Bennett or Anne Elliot.” (Linda Troost, Professor of English, Washington & Jefferson College, USA)

Women and Value in Jane Austen’s Novels offers a much needed exploration of the women on the margins of Austen’s narratives; the superfluous women. Providing rich connections to the emerging industrial culture of the late eighteenth century, Prof. Hall’s work defines for us the measures necessary for Austen’s women to survive in the marriage market, a rich, fresh analysis of a gallery of often overlooked characters. This thoughtfully executed study offers something for the Austen scholar as well as readers interested in the social dynamics of a rich and exciting age.” (Myron Yeager, Professor of English, Chapman University, USA)

“Lynda Hall’s brilliant book reorients our focus on Austen’s fiction, turning our eyes not to the heroine but to the so-called minor female characters who serve as her foil, whether in struggles or sympathy. Settling, Speculating, and Superfluous Women will be welcomed not only for its original argument but for its admirable clarity and significant research. It deserves to be widely read.” (Prof Devoney Looser, Professor of English, Arizona State University, USA)

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