[This lecture was delivered on October 3, 2003, as part of a panel at the EC/ASECS October 2003 meeting at the University of Pittsburg at Greensboro: "English Literature in France." Margaret Koehler, Chair. Panelists: Walter Gershuny, Ellen Moody, Robert Frail.]

Conference Paper

Continent Not Isolated: Jane Austen among French Women

by Ellen Moody

In France alone woman has had a vital influence on the development of literature; in France alone the mind of woman has passed like an electric current through the language . . . (George Eliot, "Woman in France: Madame de Sablé")
I recommended him to read Corinna (Jane Austen's Letters)1

Legend has it that some 30, 70 or 100 years ago a placard or British newspaper announced: "Fog over channel. Continent isolated." Many a truth said in jest. It is the argument of this essay that Jane Austen's novels contain an emotional terrain coterminous with that exploited by many novels written between the second half of the eighteenth-, and first third of the nineteenth century in the British Isles and on the European continent. This terrain has been obscured by the Anglocentricity of Austen criticism and a hagiographic attitude towards Austen's texts which induces people to write essays where her texts become those we analyze in order to highlight wherein her novels are improvements upon those of her near contemporaries rather than analyzing both to see what both have valuably to say.2 When, however, we consider Austen's texts as utterances in dialogues where Austen's are only sometimes the most perceptive and penetrating, and reverse the way we have been holding our camera, we discover there is something more to learn about Austen's novels, those by her contemporaries, and women's literature in general.

Since Austen's nephew's memoir of her life initiated the first phase of her fame in 1870, a daunting mass of commentary on her has accumulated; nonetheless, extant studies of her texts based on analogy and closeness in time tend to fall into a few Anglocentric and hagiographic types. There are the intertextual studies of those minor and occasionally major English novels which provide contextualizing explicit statements usually lacking in Austen. The scholar then uses these statements to argue that Austen's novels reinforce a particular political outlook.3 Through other thickly-detailed eighteenth-century texts, historians fill out and explain fleeting particulars in Austen's texts to produce pictures of an influential milieu in eighteenth-century England.4 There are the many essays which link specific eighteenth-century novels to Austen's; these novels are often said to be the "source" of an Austen novel. Most of these studies cite English texts, and of late increasingly obscure or poor ones; a very few cite French or German texts. In these studies we repeatedly learn that elements in a specific text or group of texts have been "happily" and "judiciously" taken over, mocked, qualified or given a thick contextualizing framework by Jane Austen.5 When occasionally the writer seriously critiques Austen's texts against the others ones in play, the methodology combines a psychoanalysis of archetypes, genres, and politicized sociology, and the texts chosen are English.6

The reasons are not far to seek. Most people don't read more than one language with ease, and, unless critical books are translated, these don't very often travel across national boundaries. Austen is herself identified as peculiarly insular and English, and her texts have become the property of English departments. The influence of Janeite cults strongly shapes how Austen can be written about and the way her novels are adapted for films. In addition, obviously, there is Austen's status. The result is often a "fawning" as counterproductive for examining the texts and documents connected to Jane Austen as it is for those connected to her contemporaries.7

When perceived through the perspective of Austen's novels, neither a Eurocentric nor a solely English context provides us with material to outline a persuasively clear relationship. I have myself catalogued many close parallels between Austen's novels and numerous later eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English and French novels as well as a couple of German ones. In those few cases where references to other texts result from a conscious act of Austen's, most of them are fragments remembered whose original context has been dismissed or long forgotten. Austen's way of using these fragments suggests that she read in terms of larger trends and, like most readers, reacted to texts in the stereotypical terms of her era.8 Even when Austen uses such analogues or literary references somewhat consistently, we can learn nothing new for sure since we lack usable statements by Austen herself about her art. From her letters we learn only that she adhered to a literally-conceived verisimilitude, looked upon her heroines as central to her tales, and thought of her work in terms of moral lessons she assumes the reader will take from the novel but does not herself explain. Since the "greater part" of her letters was destroyed and what was left cut up and bowdlerized, no truly persuasive interpretation of even these remarks is possible because we lack the full context for them.9 This frustrating reality helps explain the well-known phenomena that many studies of Austen come to conclusions which emphatically contradict one another.10

We need, and nowadays the perspectives and the materials exist for a fresh approach to Austen's texts. Taken together, Margaret Cohen's The Sentimental Education of the Novel, Nancy Miller's Subject to Change, and Beatrice Didier's Écriture- Femme show us the way. These books demonstrate that the general subjective point of view, characteristic accompanying values, and formal characteristics which have persisted in literature by women from medieval European letters until today, and many of the precise tropes, character types and sentimental plot-designs found among a large group of French novels written between 1790 and 1840 are those found in Austen's novels. Cohen, Miller and Didier exploit women-centered ways of reading this literature which opens up discussions that did not exist before them.11 Since the 1980s sufficient texts of such "feminine" literature hitherto considered minor or unimportant have been published in translated as well as "untranslated" versions to provide the needed array of evidence for such a study.12

When you examine Austen's novels in the light of her European as well as English contemporaries (and not the other way round), and pay these contemporaries equal attention and respect, Austen's rebarbative wit; her frequent contempt for female naïveté, sentimentality and obtuseness; and her obsessive mockery of romance conventions do not outweigh her romantic impulses or "sensibility." Austen's gall and anger come to have fully-justifiable and clear targets. Lady Catherine de Bourgh and the harridans who humiliate young women in Austen's fiction, and recur from Austen's juvenilia through to Sanditon are not simply the result of personally-rooted memories, nor are they caricatures; the harshly arrogant woman who behaves inhumanely and destroys the happiness of a lower caste female or of a female in her power recurs repeatedly in the fiction and non-fiction of Austen's period.13 Austen's satire is aimed at particular excesses within the subgenre, not the subgenre itself, and is dwarfed by the often catalogued and (for some readers) disturbing intense emotionalisms, embarrassing self-abnegations and retreats filled with revulsion typical of Austen's heroes and heroines. Elinor Dashwood, Fanny Price, and Emma Woodhouse are only the most obvious sites of contention and endless attempts to "justify" and make Austen's "real purpose" understandable; Edward Ferrars, Colonel Brandon, Edmund Bertram, and Frank Churchill provide analogous male sites.14 The submission, propiation, and frustrated longing of Austen's plot- designs which can end so suddenly, ironically and tremulously, and which play out a conservative, male-centered and prudential view of life are given unrepressed and therefore explanatory dramatizations in the texts of her European and English contemporaries.

Austen's contemporaries differ from her mainly in often departing from a decorous courtship-marriage plot which ends more or less happily. They put at the center of their fictions the probable unpleasant consequences of the typical crises in an Austen novel: e.g., the young woman who flees a husband or family in order to live with a man she is not married to; and the young woman who is in danger of ending up with an unreliable, unsupportive or cruel husband. Women novelists and the more radical political men could measure the probable unhappy results of their stories against unashamed idealisms, and thus bring out what is latent, powerful and only somewhat muted or ironically undercut in Austen. The pulsing beat and romance of Austen's cautiously "underdetermined" language which keeps subversion and disquiet uncertain and deniable comes out clearly in the events of these stories, characters' thoughts, and characters' fates.15 The financially dependent Austen had to censor herself by keeping in mind what individual members of her family might think of her books. In the only early draft from the six famous novels to have survived, we see that in the original Persuasion Anne Elliot felt "Triumph" at having been right to love and to want to marry Wentworth although he was poor, of low rank and without connections; it contains a rare interpolation in Austen's own voice:

Bad Morality again. A young Woman proved to have had more discrimination of Character than her elder -- to have seen in two Instances more clearly what it was about than her Godmother! But on the point of Morality, I confess myself almost in despair after understanding myself to have already given a Mother offence -- having appeared weak on the point where I thought myself most strong and shall leave the present matter to the mercy of Mothers & Chaperons & Middle-aged Ladies in general.

Let us listen to the tone with which Austen offers to remove some details from Mansfield Park lest they offend her brother, Francis Austen: "And by the bye -- shall you object to my mentioning the Elephant in it, & two or three other of your old Ships? -- I have done it, but it shall not stay, to make you angry. -- They are only just mentioned."16

In this necessarily short essay I have only room to suggest one line of argument which emerges when you contextualize Austen's novels within one subset of the sentimental novel: novels by French women writers whose work Austen would have known and novels by English women writers whose work Austen also knew and who were themselves influenced by French women writers. Austen's novels are more like this subset of novels than any other subset in her period: like them, her books are fairly short, have at most two stories, and observe a strong decorum of language.17 Although Austen's nephew wrote that she "read French with facility, and knew something of Italian," and in her letters Austen sometimes quotes books written in French using an abbreviated French title, wherever possible I quote originally French texts in English translation. I am in part following Austen here as Austen will cite a translated text using the English title ("I recommended him to read Corinna") as frequently as she cites a French title.18 I also want to make the point that the strict separation we practice today between a translation and the "original," between texts written by people living in one country and culture as opposed to those written by people in another, and the attention we pay to the individuating presence of a particular author in a work was not part of the outlook of later 18th century readers or writers of romance. They saw novels as malleable items in a community of texts whose most salient characteristic was their likeness and near exchangeability across time and space.19

In what I take to be two central contested areas of these particular novels, a woman's right to control what sexual experience she will have and with whom, and her capacity to make a "choice of life" wisely for herself, these novels provide us with the significances Austen's idiomatic conventional language contains but does not make explicit.20 As George Steiner puts it when he writes of Austen's Emma, "the sexual turbulence, the implications of action that flow from the muted encounters" of an Austen novel are "inside the narrative, not in the sense of impulse hidden or unconscious, but as an area of understood meaning . . . intelligently faced [and] publicly acquiesced in" as a "pact" where "open eroticism" has been shifted to sexually symbolic plots, character types, and manners.21 In Caroline of Lichtfield [Caroline de Lichtfield] Isabelle de Montolieu deals directly with a young girl's frustrated sexual longings when she is forced to marry an older ugly and crippled man; reading Sense and Sensibility in the context of Caroline of Lichtfield [Caroline de Lichtfield] what we discover is Sense and Sensibility is not primarily a novel of sexual renunciation, but a way of elongating pre-marital sexual experience so that without transgressing social mores and outside a conventional marriage, the woman writer and reader together explore and enact the gratifications as well as the thwarting of a young woman's intense sexual desires for an attractive male, while providing her with permanent and congenial emotional satisfaction and "safety" with an older "male of sensibility" at the moment of the novel's closure.22

Sophie Cottin's Amelia Mansfield [Amélie Mansfield] combines an amalgam of character types, plot-designs and themes which are closely analogous to those found in all six of Austen's novels except perhaps Emma. The theme (and word) "sensibility" ["sensibilité"] and an exploration of "pride," "prepossession," and "hatred" ["l'orgueil" "la prevention" and "la haine"] occur repeatedly in thematicized scenes which anticipate key scenes in Pride and Prejudice. Sophie Cottin's central plot- design dramatizes the separation of a self-contained upper caste male, Ernest de Woldemar, very much a Darcy type, characterized as "proud," resentful, self-important but generous to servants, from the lower caste heroine, Amelia [Amélie], with whom Woldemar has gradually and despite himself fallen desperately in love. The separation is effected by the older hardened woman, Madame de Woldemar, who combines characteristics of a Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Lady Russell; the terms associated with Madame de Woldemar are "prejudiced" and caste arrogant. Amelia [Amélie] combines characteristics of Fanny Price and Anne Elliot and anticipates Goethe's Ottilie in Elective Affinities. Through reading Pride and Prejudice in the context of Amelia Mansfield [Amélie Mansfield], we perceive the radicalism of Austen's Elizabeth Bennet and how Elizabeth is pitted against the inhumanity of hierarchy and intrasexual antagonisms in the context of her era.

Cottin's subplot closely parallels characters in Austen's Northanger Abbey: Cottin's Albert, brother to the heroine, Amelia [Amélie], suffers more than James Morland does from a shallow flirt Blanche who enjoys being mean because Albert is gifted with the kinds of perception we find in Henry Tilney but is nonetheless intensely attracted to Blanche and wants to marry her. Blanche is a softened version of Isabella Thorpe, and we see her persuaded into acting more kindly. In Amelia Mansfield [Amélie Mansfield] types which align themselves with Austen's subplot in Northanger Abbey are examined with a thoughtful precision and full emotional seriousness that brings out why Austen's subplot, light as it seems, has such resonance.23

Manners, conversations and inward nuances in the novels of French and English women bring out sophisticated psychological and sexual awareness and social inferences latent in Austen's underdetermined hints. We underestimate Austen when we see her writing in response to the lesson-scenes of Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis's Adelaide and Theodore [Adèle et Théodore] and Tales of the Castle, or Stories of Instruction and Delight [Les Veillées du Château] as if Austen took them literally as realizable psychological training. We do more justice to Austen, and her allegiance to Genlis based on recognition, by studying the nuanced "sentiments" of Austen's own characters' conversations as referring to issues explicitly debated in Genlis's adult novels. In Mansfield Park Fanny Price speaks out against Mary Crawford's assumption that another woman would have so little "consideration" for herself as to jump at any man's offer. To realize the full meaning of this line we need to go to Genlis's Madame de Maintenon, another story of an apparent prude who defends her behavior in language closely similar to Fanny's and that of Austen's Emma defending her decision to part Harriet from Mr Martin. The line of argument for all three female characters runs in the same groove and uses the same family of words. For example, Madame de Maintenon counsels the reader that a preference for "consideration" ["la consideration"] over immediate pleasure and vanity is what gives a woman power.24

We can trace lines of development between French women novelists, English women novelists strongly influenced by them, and Austen herself. For example, a conversation between the hero and heroine of Charlotte Smith's Ethelinde, or The Recluse of the Lake provides the explicit reply that in Mansfield Park Austen's Edmund Bertram only hints at when he suggests to Mary Crawford that he could not endure to pay the price for the kinds of exploitative complicity in the social order that might make them rich. In Ethelinde Smith also makes explicit through story and scene what actually happens in such colonial postings which can lead to wealth, most young men's probable failure, as well as the isolation, financial insecurity and sexual vulnerability of the dependent young fiancée left behind. Smith went to school to the French novelists.25

In reading Austen's novels in the context of those by French women and English women influenced by French novels, we go beyond the formulaic. We hit what George Eliot called "the electric current" running through French literature by women in the period just before Austen's, which current I believe runs through Austen's matter and style. Austen's evocation of a specifically feminine world (one dominated by women as closely intimate mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters, and nieces), and her uses of decorum to allow the usually unacknowledged anguishes of daily life and permanent losses to emerge believably came out of her readings in novels like Isabelle de Charrière's Letters from Lausanne [Lettres écrites de Lausanne] and Adèle de Souza's Adela de Senange [Adèle de Sénange]. Souza's "avant-propos" could preface Emma:

j'ai voulu seulement montrer, dans la vie, ce qu'on n'y regarde pas, et décrire ces mouvements ordinarires du coeur qui composent l'histoire de chaque jour. Si je réussis à faire arrêter un instant mes lecteurs sur eux-mêmes, et si, après lu cet ouvrage, ils se disent: Il n'y ai rien là noveau, ils ne sauraient me flatter davantage.

[I have meant to show what doesn't call attention to itself in life, to describe the ordinary movement of the heart which constitutes the history of each of our days. If I succeed in making my readers stop for a moment to look at themselves, and if, having read this work, they say to themselves: There is nothing new there, they could not flatter me more. My translation].

Ever so quietly and prosaically, Charrière leads the reader to acquiesce in a conversation between a mother and daughter, where the young woman, very like Emma, challenges the idea that the only "choice of life" possible for women is marriage:

Vous m'avez demandé, maman, m'a-t-elle dit, si je me consolerais de ne pas me marier. Il me semble que ce serait selon le genre de vie que je pourrais mener. J'ai pensé déjà plusieurs fois que, si je n'avais rien à faire que d'être une demoiselle au milieu de gens qui auraient des maris, des amants, des femmes, des maîtresses, des enfants, je pourrais trouver cela bien triste, et convoiter quelquefois, comme vous disiez l'autre jour, le mari ou l'amant de mon prochain; mais, si vous trouviez bon que nous allassions en Hollande ou en Angleterre tenir une boutique ou établir une pension, je crois qu'étant toujours avec vous et occupée, et n'ayant pas le temps d'aller dans le monde ni de lire des romans, je ne convoiterais et ne regretterais rien, et que ma vie pourrait être douce. Ce qui manquerait à la réalité, je l'aurais en espérance. Je me flatterais de devenir assez riche pour acheter un maison entourée d'un champ, d'un verger, d'un jardin, entre Lausanne et Rolle, ou bien enre Vevey et Villeneuve, et d'y passer avec vous le reste de ma vie. -- Cela serait bon, lui ai-je dit, si nous étions soeurs jumelles . . . -- On meurt á tout âge, a-t-elle dit, et peut-être aurez-vous l'annui de me survivre.

['You asked me, mamma,' she said, if I should be happy unmarried. It seems to me that that would depend entirely on the kind of life that I was able to lead. I have already often thought that if I had nothing to do but to be a spinster among folk who had husbands, wives, mistresses, lovers and children I might find it very sad and might covet sometimes, as you said the other day, the husband or lover of my neighbour; but if you were willing to go to Holland or to England to keep a shop or to open a pension, I believe that, being always busy and in your company, and not having the time either to go into society or to read romances, I should envy and regret nothing, and that my life might be very sweet. Hope would supply what was lacking in reality. I should flatter myself with the belief of becoming one day sufficiently rich to buy a house surrounded with a meadow, an orchard, and a garden somewhere between Lausanne and Rolle, or perhaps between Vevey and Villeneuve, and of passing the rest of my life with you there.'

'That would be all very well,' I corrected, 'if we had chanced to be twin sisters . . . 'People die at all ages,' she said, 'and perhaps you will have the tedium of surviving me.']26

What's at stake here is how to read the nuances and what inferences to take away from the novels of Austen and her contemporaries. The point is to hear the women's conversation the particular scene belongs to, and then get the emphasis right, and we can only do that by reading the right texts.27 Austen's Lady Susan has been regarded as an oddity or sudden new revelation because it has lost its original full context. Choderlos de LaClos's Dangerous Connections: Or, Letters Collected in a Society and Published for the Instruction of Other Societies [Les Liaisons Dangereuses] is but one of its predecessors. The conversation to which Austen's Lady Susan belongs is found in two other epistolary novels much closer to it in time and much closer in plot-design, character type, and moral inference: Germaine de Staël's Delphine and Maria Edgeworth's Leonora. The plot-design of Maria Edgeworth's Leonora (an adventuress intrudes herself upon the life of a married couple in a country house and seduces the husband) and its dénouement (the mother marries the unpleasant rich male she intended for her daughter) is precisely that of Austen's Lady Susan; the character of Lady Susan Vernon owes much to Staël's Sophie de Vernon in her Delphine.28 Lady Susan is simply a more aggressive mirroring of the women's worlds coming out of French novels than we find in Austen's other texts.

When we read Austen's Lady Susan alongside Leonora and Delphine; in the framework of their full context (which includes Rousseau's Eloisa; or a Series of Original Letters [Julie, ou La Nouvelle Héloïse])29, we discover that Edgeworth and Austen are going against the grain of women's novels in this period by not dramatizing why women might exhibit cruel and self- destructive behavior from a conventionally moral standpoint. In Germaine de Staël's Delphine (and those of other women who have an unconventional heroine), we see heroines subjected to pressure or coerced and bullied into mercenary extramarital liaisons and marriages. Earlier semi-autobiographical novel-memoirs by women show them as wives bullied into affairs by husbands so that the husband may pay gambling and other debts or rise in society. In contrast, Edgeworth presents Gabrielle, Madame de P--, as a female spy- politician-adulteress who actively collaborates in adultery with a rigid self-consciousness which implies no pleasure in sexual experience. Austen's Lady Susan appears to enjoy watching cruelty; hers is not the ironic line of least resistance so typical of the heroine who looks for liaisons for interest in life, and there is no build-up of the emotional anomie of ennui or an unconscious slipping into compromising situations which characterizes novels by other women.30 Instead Edgeworth dramatizes her heroine actively revenging herself and gaining power through her amoral behavior; Austen reveals Lady Susan's ironic adherence to the real norms of the period as opposed to what piety proclaimed. By reading the extraordinarily frank and bitter "history" of Staël's Sophie, an explanation of how she turned herself into an apparently unemotional manipulator of other people, we are taught how to read Austen's Lady Susan. For example, the lessons and techniques by which Sophie de Vernon was first taught:

Je m'apperçus assez vîte que les sentimens que j'exprimois étoient tournés en plaisanterie, et que l'on faisoit taire mon esprit, comme s'il ne convenoit pas à une femme d'en avoir; je renfermai donc en moi- même tout ce que j'éprouvois, j'acquis de bonne heure l'art de la dissimulation, et j'étouffai la sensibilité que la nature m'avoit donnée.

[I realized quickly enough that any feelings I expressed were turned into jokes and that my mind was silenced as if it were inappropriate to a woman. Consequently, I shut everything I felt inside, and thus I early learned the art of dissimulation, and stifled the sensibility given me by nature.]

reappear in Austen's satirical thrust coded inside Lady Susan's mocking description of her failure to educate her daughter properly:

I never saw a girl her age, bid fairer to be the sport of Mankind. Her feelings are tolerably lively, & she is so charmingly artless in their display, as to afford the most reasonable hope of her being ridiculed and despised by every Man who sees her. Artlessness will never do . . . 31

It is sometimes said that we cannot "catch" Austen's genius at work in her sentences because she is so deep or subtle. Not so. We can explicate the currents of emotion and argument running through Austen's small corpus because she is not unique in using irony and prosaic surface to allow herself and her readers to experience without discomfort a "tamed" panoply of female experience.32 Examine Genlis's Mademoiselle de Clermont, and you find as in a reverse mirror a similar strategy in a plot-design which combines marginalized and central aspects of Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Genlis narrates Mademoiselle de Clermont from the point of view of a sister and brother whose relationship and personalities anticipate Darcy and Georgiana; several turns in the action between the heroine and her forbidden lover who does not show his emotion anticipate Elizabeth's perception of Darcy as a teasing teasing man; the final explosion of emotion between Genlis's hero and heroine, through a man's melodramatic letter which breaks a silence enforced by their lack of privacy anticipates the sudden coming-together of Anne Elliot and Wentworth through unacknowledged dialogue in public and a letter; finally the use of place to evoke a cherished delicious memory and a kind of misty sadness function similarly in Genlis's and Austen's sister novels. The power of the flat conventionalities and occasional stilted nature of Austen's and Genlis's style (as in their hero's letters to their heroine) during suddenly explosive moments derive from a shared deep empathy with the sensibility and drive to dramatize the adversarial familial pressures which coerce their heroines into submission.33

The emotional extravagances, sudden disjunctions and divagations which leave Austen's peers open to derision is what we must read them for. Austen includes extravagances just as strong and disconnected and just as open to derision.34 The wording of such sudden passages in Austen is often echoed closely in those by her contemporaries. For example, the language used to describe two contrasting male temperaments in the 1807 Corinna links the dejection and personality of Oswald to the pained justifications of Jane Bennet for her conscious refusal to acknowledge that "so much wickedness exists in the whole race of mankind." Oswald's way of fending off mental suffering ("the strict observance of every duty, and the abjuration of every pleasure") in order to be "secure" against "harassment," and his failure to maintain his cool because in the nature of things such suffering must be abraded in social intercourse and by society's norms is given emphatic explanation in Corinna:

Le comte d'Erfeuil continua quelque temps encore à discourir ainsi, sans que Lord Nelvile l'interrompît. Il ne disait rien que fût précisément in convenable, mais il parlant trop fort ou trop légèrement sur ce qui l'intéressait. Il y a des ménagments que l'esprit même et l'usage du monde n'apprennent pas, et, sans manquer à la plus parfaite politesse, on blesse souvent le coeur.

[The Count d'Erfeuil went on in this manner for some time without Lord Nelvil interrupting him. He said nothing directly disagreeable; but he always harassed the delicate sentiments of Oswald, by speaking too strongly or too frivolously of what interested him [Oswald]. There are refinements which wit itself, and the customs of the world, do not teach us; and, without failing the least in the most perfect politeness, we often wound the heart.]

It is in precisely such terms that Jane Bennet rationalizes and excuses her mother's punishing indifference to her feelings when she asks Elizabeth not to "distress" her since most of what Jane has suffered from cannot be proved to have been "designed:"

A day or two passed before Jane had courage to speak of her feelings to Elizabeth; but at last on Mrs. Bennet's leaving them together, after a longer irritation than usual about Netherfield, and its master, she could not help saying,

Oh! that my dear mother had more command over herself; she can have no idea of the pain she gives me by her continual reflections on him . . .35

As Corinna can enable us to hear the pathos of Jane Bennet's insistent disillusioned desire to think well of people, Sophie Cottin's Amelia Mansfield [Amélie Mansfield] uncovers the pathologies of Austen's desperate heroes and heroines. Amelia's [Amélie's] explanation to her brother of how happiness can emerge from suffering and self-abnegation discloses the undercurrent of emotion and thought in speeches of Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Darcy and Anne Elliot to Wentworth about the value of painful memories. The phraseology of Amelia's [Amélie's] words:

Albert, il faut avoir souffert, pour savoir combien il est doux de ne plus souffrir. Ah! si j'ai trouvé jadis dans l'indifférence qui avait succédé à mon amour, quelque chose d'affreux qui ressemblait au néant, je goûte maintenant dans le repos qui succède à la peine, quelque chose de délicieux qui ressemble au bonheur . . .

[Albert, one must suffer to know how sweet it is to cease suffering. Ah! if I have since found in the apathy which suceeded love, something fearful which resembled a void [emptiness], I now taste the peace which succeeds pain, and includes something of that delight that resembles happiness . . . My translation]

are echoed by Anne Elliot:

'The last few hours were certainly painful," replied Anne: 'but when the pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering . . . '

Anne's speech is an elaboration of the undercurrents of Elizabeth Bennet's suggestion to Darcy when he says he cannot understand how she can take pleasure in rereading his harsh letter to her that the past's mixture of pain and pleasure gives remembrance its full poignancy.36

I understand why critics and scholars of Austen should want to distance Austen from women's romance. Ridicule is a powerful weapon, and the comforts of conformity hard to withstand. Further, we are today in the midst of a "re-masculinization" of the norms of behavior and art. Reviews of novels and films today unashamedly deride novels identified as "women's books," and their modern filmic equivalent, the "woman's emotion picture" and costume dramas out of respected memory. Misogynistic films are simply accepted.37 A woman's freedom to express her sexuality frankly is as contested today as it ever was; a new idealization of motherhood as effective power through redefining terms is under way. Nonetheless, or perhaps precisely because, Austen's texts and her name are marketable totems in a newly aggressive and regressive phase of cultural conditioning,38 I am arguing for defending and making plain a way of reading Austen and her peers which emphasizes the sources of her and their passion.

Susan Fleetwood (Lady Russell) supporting Amanda Root (Anne Elliot) in the 1995 BBC film adaptation of Austen's Persuasion: there is no scene in the book; the film has reversed Austen's text which dramatizes a lack of true community, friendship and support among women; Shaw wears a hat which recalls Madame de Staël's in a well-known painting. The actresses' thin veined hands clutch at one another.


1George Eliot, "Woman in France: Madame de Sablé (1854)," George Eliot: Selected Critical Writings, ed. Rosemary Ashton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 38; Jane Austen's Letters, ed. Deirdre LeFaye (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 161.

2 E.g., Susan Allen Ford, "Romance, Pedagogy and Power: Jane Austen Re-writes Madame de Genlis," Persuasions, 21 (1999), 172-87; and Alison G. Sulloway's Jane Austen and the Province of Womanhood (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989) where Austen is treated as a culmination.

3 e.g., Claudia Johnson, Women, Politics and the Novel. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988). But see Marilyn Butler, Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987). Irritated by the hagiography, Butler falls into the trap attacking Austen, a common response not so much to Austen's texts as to the literature surrounding her texts. Butler's "war of ideas" is as much about modern commentary as it is about the politics of Austen's era. See Brian Southam, "Janeites and Anti- Janeites," The Jane Austen Handbook (London: Athlone Press, 1986), ed. J. David Grey, 237-43, and, more recently, Claudia Johnson, "Austen Cults and Cultures," The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, ed. Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1997), 211-26.

4 e.g., Irene Collins, Jane Austen and the Clergy (London: Hambledon, 1994); Oliver MacDonagh's Jane Austen: Real and Imagined Worlds (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991); Warren Roberts, Jane Austen and the French Revolution (London: Athlone, 1995). Edward Said's Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979) is a highly controversial exception to this norm.

5 e.g., Jane K. Brown, "Die Wahlverwandtschaften [Elective Affinities] and the English novel of Manners," Comparative Literature, 28 (1976), 97-101; Gerhard Schulz, "The Lonely Hero, or: The Germans and the Novel," AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, 43 (1975), 5-23; Cf. Peacock, "The Ethics of 'Die Wahlverwandtschaften," Modern Language Review, 71 (1976), 330-43; William H. Magee, "The Happy Marriage: The Influence of Charlotte Smith on Jane Austen," Studies in the Novel, 7 (1975), 120-32. See David Gilson, A Bibliography of Jane Austen (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 1997), M671, M680, M788, M1228, where Jane West's A Gossip's Story is identified as a source for Sense and Sensibility. Frank W. Bradbook's Jane Austen and her Predecessors (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1967) is a classic of the type; very recent variant is Mary Waldron's Jane Austen and the Fiction of Her Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

6 See Marilyn Butler, "The Woman at the Window: Ann Radcliffe in the Novels of Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen," Women and Literature, 1 (1980), 128-48; Gary Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period, 1789-1830 (London: Longman, 1989), 1-138; Lee Erickson, "The Economy of Novel Reading," Studies in English Literature, 30 (1990), 574-90. Eva Kosofksy Sedgwick's "Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl," Critical Inquiry, 17 (1991), 818-37 tends to function in Austen criticism as an infamous debunking of Austen. Sedgwick reveals that Austen's heroines in Sense and Sensibility enact a sadomasochistic pattern of behavior.

7 I quote Madelyn Gutwirth, Madame de Staël: The Emergence of the Artist as Woman (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978), 103, 304-5. For an epitomizing example of the sort of Anglophilia (England as "forever green and pleasant") associated with Austen's name, see the three-part biographical film, Jane Austen: Life, Society, Works (UK: Artsmagic Ltd, American Home Treasures, 2001); see also Jan Fergus's 'My sore throats, you know, are always worse than anybody's: Mary Musgrove and Jane Austen's Art of Whining', Persuasions 15 (1993), 139-47, where Fergus uses a ginger hestitant tone, and is reluctant to come out frankly with a defense of Mary Musgrove (usually treated as a selfishly indulgent and ridiculous figure, as seen in the 1995 BBC film adaptation of Persuasion).

8 The same conclusion is reached by Margaret Anne Doody, "Jane Austen's Reading," Grey, 347-65; see also Jane Austen's Letters, 234, 256 where Radcliffe is a convenient straw figure; a unbiased reading of Eaton Stannard Barret's The Heroine, or Adventures of Cherubina, introd. Michael Sadleir (1815; repr. New York: Stokes, 1909) shows the book to be a disjointed parody of Pamela written in a crudely burlesque style.

9 See Caroline Austen, My Aunt Jane Austen: A Memoir (1867), in J. E. Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections, ed. Kathryn Hughes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 175; Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh, Edward James Austen-Leigh: A Memoir (Privately published, 1911), 262-63. Austen's basic advice to her niece to avoid too egregiously clichéd phrases is not specific enough to be useful. When she does cite a novel, she rarely produces an unironic and demonstrable point of view we can be sure she believed in or used in her novels. The many arguments over what Austen meant when she wrote "Now I will try to write of something else; -- it shall be a complete change of subject -- Ordination" (LeFaye 202) is a good example of how impossible it even to say how the parts of a letter fit together.

10 Alistair Duckworth, "Jane Austen and the Conflict of Interpretations," Jane Austen: New Perspectives, ed. Janet Todd (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1983), 39-52.

11 Margaret Cohen, The Sentimental Education of the Novel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), especially 8-34 and 67; Beatrice Didier, L'écriture-femme (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1981); Nancy K. Miller, Subject to Change: Reading Feminist History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988). See also Gene Koppel, "Jane Austen and Anne Tyler, Sister Novelists Under the Skin: Comparison of Persuasion and Saint Maybe," Persuasions, 15 (1993), 164-69 and "Mansfield Park and Morgan's Passing: Jane Austen's and Anne Tyler's Problem Novels," Persuasions On-Line, 20 (1998), ; Carolyn Heilbrun, Writing a Woman's Life (New York: Ballantine, 1989), 28-69.

12 Virago, Broadview Press, the University of Kentucky Press, the University of Georgia Press, Bucknell University Press are just a few of the presses that are engaged in this endeavour. Sherry Simons' Gender in Translation: cultural identity and the politics of transmission (London and New York : Routledge, 1996) has been a catalyst in a renewed interest in translation in the period. For an example of an approach which relies on hitherto unavailable texts, see "The Virago Jane Austen," Janeites: Austen's Disciples and Devotees, ed. Deidre Lynch (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 140-65; for an example of what the approach which studies translations can achieve, see Terry Hale, "Translation in distress: cultural misappropriation and the construction of the Gothic," European Gothic: A spirited exchange, 1760-1960, ed. Avril Horner (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 17-38.

13 e.g., Fanny Burney's Mrs Delvile, the hero's inflexible narrow mother in Cecilia, or the Memoirs of an Heiress, edd. Peter Sabor and Margaret Anne Doody (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), e.g., 647-55; Geraldine Verney's apparently unbelievably cruel mother in Charlotte Smith's Desmond, ed. Antjie Blank and Janet Todd (New York: Broadview, 2001), 285-92; Bethel's desire to "howl" is directed at a real behavior in the period; see finally Helen Maria Williams' story of an actual French father's behavior to his older son when he married a lower caste female; Letters Written in France in the Summer 1790, edd. Neil Fraistat and Susan S. Lanser (New York: Broadview, 2001), 123-37. Criticism has tended to dismiss Lady Catherine as unreal or find the source for her and the other inhumane misguided (e.g., Lady Russell) older woman in Austen's fiction in some unknown incident of Austen's youth or her memories of Mrs Jane Leigh-Perrot. See Elizabeth Jenkins, Jane Austen (New York: Pellegrini and Cudahy, 1949), 32-35 (on Austen's "Letter the third, From A young Lady in distress's Circumstances to her friend" [Minor Works 155-60]; Harding, "Character and Caricature in Jane Austen," Regulated Hatred and Other Essays on Jane Austen, ed. Monica Lawlor [London: Athlone Press, 1998], 88-90; and Sheila Kaye-Smith and G. B. Stern, Speaking of Jane Austen (New York: Harper and Bros, 1944), 182-87.

14 It needs to be emphasized that the two most "infamous" writers who emphasized the "pathologies" of Austen's texts, D. W. Harding's "Regulated Hatred," Lawlor, 5-26) and Marvin Mudrick's Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968) were not the first nor are they the only modern critical texts to describe and to praise these aspects of Austen's texts. See, e.g., Margaret Oliphant, Jane Austen: The Critical Heritage, ed. Brian Southam (London: Routledge, 1986), 215-25; Bernard Paris, Characters and Conflict in Jane Austen's Novels: A Psychological Approach (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1978); P. J. M. Scott, Jane Austen: A Reassessment (London and New Jersey: Vision and Barnes and Noble, 1982); and under the cover of irony, Avrom Fleishman, "The Two Faces of Emma," Todd, 248-56.

15 On the uses of idealism in women's novels see Naomi Schor, George Sand and Idealism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 10-54 particularly. See Christine Brooke- Rose, "The Readerhood of Man," The Reader in the Text, edd. Susan R. Suleiman and Inge Crosman (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), 120-38, and Deborah Ross, The Excellence of Falsehood: Romance, Realism, and the Women's Contribution to the Novel (Louisville: University Press of Kentucky, 1991).

16 See the notes to p. 32 at back of Jane Austen, The manuscript chapters of Persuasion, ed. R. W. Chapman (London: Athlone Press, 1985); the paragraph is also quoted in Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life, 255-56. See LeFaye 217.

17 See Ellen Moers's astute comment on the style and mood of Austen's novels compared to Genlis's "Educating Heroinism: Governess to Governor," Literary Women (New York: Anchor, 1977), 325-30, 343.

18 See J. E. Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen (1871), Hughes, 70-71; for the contemporary English translations of Corinne, ou l'Italie, for the English translations of Corinne ou l'Italie, one of which Austen read, see The English Novel, 1770-1729: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, edd. James Raven, Antonia Forster, and Stephen Bending, 2 volumes (Oxford: At the University Press, 2000), II:258-59 (1807:63a and b).

19 See Antoinette Marie Sol, Textual Promiscuities: Eighteenth-Century Critical Rewriting (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2002), 17-19; Josephine Grieder, Translations of French Sentimental Prose Fiction in Late Eighteenth-Century England: The History of a Literary Vogue (Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1975), passim; Kelly, 1-70. The interchangeability of texts and non-fetishicizing of particular authors in the later 18th century holds true in the German literary marketplace too; James Raven, "An Antidote to the French? English Novels in German Translation and German Novels in English Translation, 1770-99, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 14 (2002), 709-27.

20 "Choice of life" is Johnson's phrase in Rasselas; see Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, edd. Geoffrey Tillotson and Brian Jenkins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 132.

21 George Steiner, "Eros and Idiom" in On Difficulty and Other Essays (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), 95- 99.

22 In September 1807 Austen gave her niece, Fanny Austen-Knight, later Lady Knatchbull, a copy of "Caroline of Lichtfield" to read (the English title suggests it was Thomas Holcroft's translation); see Margaret Wilson, Almost Another Sister (Kent: Kent County Council, 1990), 19. Isabelle de Montolieu herself was the first translator of Austen's Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion; see Gilson, 151-55, 161-68. But for a perceptive discussion on the subgenre to which Sense and Sensibility belongs as novels of renunciation, see Roger Shattuck, Forbidden Knowledge (New York: Harvest, 1996), 110-18 ("Ascetism in La Princesse de Clèves").

23 See Sophie Cottin, Amélie Mansfield (London, 1809), I:136-51. We know that Austen knew Cottin's work because she parodied Cottin's Élisabeth, ou Les Éxilés du Sibérie quite closely in the "Plan of a Novel" (Minor Works 199, 428-300). On Amélie Mansfield see Raven, A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction, II:167; and Colette Cazenobe, "Une préeromantique méconnue, Madame Cottin," Travaux de littérature, 1 (1988), 175-202. Amélie Mansfield is yet another from this era which could provide matter for an essay claiming it is a "source" for two of Austen's fictions. The problem with most critical analysis of Fanny Price from a feminist standpoint is she is examined from an unsympathetic point of view; but see Roger Gard's Art of Clarity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 121-54; and Nina Auerbach, "Jane Austen's Dangerous Charm: Feeling as One Ought About Fanny Price," Todd, 208-23. Austen suggests she modelled Fanny on the pain her niece Caroline experienced on her first visit to her rich Austen-Knight cousins; see LeFaye 132. I suggest that recognizing the closeness of conception of Goëthe's Ottilie with Austen's Fanny and Anne Elliot would bring more sympathetic understanding for why Austen chose this type for her serious fiction.

24 See the scene between Edmund and Fanny in Mansfield Park 352-53; Emma's defense of "female right and refinement" to Mr Knightley of her separation of Harriet from Mr Martin repeats the same line of argument and nuance, see Emma 63-65. See Madame de Genlis, Madame de Maintenon (Paris, 1843), 92- 93. The central "maxim" in question reads: "j'ai toujours préféré la considération au plaisir. Si quelque chose dans une femme pouvait suppléer la vertu, je crois que ce serait cette manière de penser." See Bonnie Arden Robb, "Madame de Maintenon adn the Literary Personality of Madame de Genlis: Creating Fictional, Historical and Narrative Virtue," Eighteenth Century Fiction, 7 (1995), 352- 71; Robb bases her analysis of Genlis's texts on virtue defined as "not in what it is but in what its life and answering power may be in temporal reality" (355). Genlis's psychological-ethical worldly advice in her novels was extracted and published; see Esprit de Madame de Genlis, ou Portraits, Charactères, Maximes et Pensèes, Extraits de tous des Ouvrages Publiès Jusqu'à Ce Jour (Paris, 1806; reprinted in a facsimile copy by Elibron), and many of whose passages are taken from Les Mères rivales (1800), a novel dramatizing how a group of women in the period successfully cope with having children out of wedlock; see Marie Naudin, "Une avocate des mères célibataires et des enfants naturels: Mme de Genlis," Kentucky Romance Quarterly, 30:4 (1983), 349-58. But for a perceptive assessment of Austen's fiction in the context of Genlis's didactic books on education and tales for children see Ellen Moers, "Educating Heroinism: Governess to Governor," Literary Women (New York: Anchor, 1977), 322-50. Madame de Maintenon was available in an English translation by 1806; see Raven, A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction, II;231-32 (1806:33); for a list of all Genlis's works available in English translation in England see Grieder 97-99.

25 See Mansfield Park 109-11; Charlotte Smith, Ethelinde, or The Recluse of the Lake (London, 1790), 5 vols, IV:61-98, 153-54, 266-89; V:1-23. In Austen's Catherine, or the Bower, Catherine Percival has read Smith's novels; Ethelinde is singled out for the description; see also Frank Bradbrook, "Sources of Jane Austen's ideas about nature in Mansfield Park," Notes and Queries, 206 (1961), 222- 24 (he suggests one source of the treasures in Fanny's attic comes from Smith's Ethelinde). The true closeness of Austen's texts to Smith's and Smith's unacceptable radical politics and explicit autobiography has led to a complete overshadowing of Smith and the real relationship to Austen's; see Diana Bowstead, "Convention and Innovation in Charlotte Smith's Novels," Ph. D. Dissertation, The City University of New York, 1978, 1-55. Smith herself was strongly influenced by French literature; see Lorraine Fletcher, Charlotte Smith, A Critical Biography (New York: St Martin's Press, 1998),71-73, 82-87, 129-206; and Matthew Bray, "Removing the Anglo- Saxon Yoke: The Francocentric Vision of Charlotte Smith's Later Works," Wordsworth Circle, 24 (1993), 155-58; and Françoise Albrecht, "Charlotte Smith and Rousseau: De l'Émile au Jeune Philosophe," Le Contiennt Européen et le Monde Anglo-Américain aux XVIIe et SVIIIe Siècles, Actes du Colloque tenu à Paris les 24 et 25 october 1986 par la Société D'Études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris: Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de Reims, 1987), 82-129. At key points in Ethelinde, Smith quotes Rousseau in French; e.g., IV: 270-72; see also in The Banished Man, 4 volumes, 2nd edition (London, 1795), IV:267-68.

26 George Eliot, "Woman in France," 38. See Romans de Femmes du XVIIIe Siècle, ed. Raymond Trousson (Paris: Laffont, 1996), 567; and compare Austen, Emma 84-86, and Madame de Charrière, Caliste ou lettres écrites de lausanne, ed., introd. Claudine Herrmann (Paris: Gallimard, 1980), 90. I quote from the English translation by Sybil M Scott; see Four Tales of Zélide, translated by S. M. S (New York: Scribner, 1925), 148-49. An English translation of Charrière's novel is cited in Raven, A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction, I:777 (1799:28); Souza's Adèle de Sénage was apparently only sold in French in England; however, it is referred to as "Adela de Senange" in a translation of another novel by De Souza; see Raven, A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction, I:802 (1799:86).

27 See Miller, "Emphasis Added: Plots and Plausibilities in Women's Fiction," 24-26.

28 Marilyn Butler's "Introductory Note" to Leonora, edd., Marilyn Butler and Susan Manly, Vol 3 of The Novels and Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1999), x-xii; see also Marilyn Butler, "Simplicity," The London Review of Books, 20 (1998), for an argument that Lady Susan was first written between 1805 and 1809. The "manoeuvring" aspect of mother-daughter relationship in Lady Susan also recalls that of Edgeworth's mother and daughter in Manoeuvring (first printed 1808, Tales of Fashionable Life); Manoeuvring is reprinted in Volume 5 of The Longford Edition: Tales and Novels of Maria Edgeworth (New York: AMS Press, 1967), 1-161. Austen also uses the then rare word "manoeuvring" twice.

29 Edgeworth made a point of reading Goethe's and Rousseau's novels as preparation for Leonora; both writers strongly influenced De Germaine de Staël; see Butler's "Introductory Note," Leonora xi; and Staël's analysis of Goethe's Sorrows of Werther in Major Writings of Germaine de Staël, trans., introd. Vivian Folkenflik (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), 28-30, 296-98.

30 Leonora, 70-74. For earlier epistolary novels by women of with these semi-libertine sequences, see Madame [Louise] D'Épinay, Histoire de Madame de Montbrillant, ed. Georges Roth, 3 Vols (Paris: Gallimard, 1951), I:367-70; and the anonymous The Slyph, which has been attributed to Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, The Sylph, introd. Amanda Foreman (Yorkshire: Parker, 2001), 166-86. For the autobiographical background see Mary Trouille, Sexual Politics in the Enlightenment (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 97-114; Amanda Foreman, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (New York: Random House, 1998), 58-60; for a questioning of the attribution, see The English Novel, 1770-1729: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, edd. James Raven, Antonia Forster, and Stephen Bending, 2 vols. (Oxford: At the University Press, 2000), I,:277-78: "[?Cavendish, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire]". In Montbrillant, Mlle Darcy is the female libertine who urges the heroine to have liaisons (e.g., I:445-50); the scenes between Madame de Montbrillant and her lover's other mistress anticipate Austen's depiction of Elinor Dashwood versus Lucy Steele (e.g., II:362-64).

31 Madame de Staël, Delphine, edd. Simone Balayé and Lucia Omacini (Geneva: Droz, 1987), 404; I quote Germaine de Staël, Delphine, trans., ed. Avriel H. Goldberger (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1995), 171. Sophie de Vernon's "guardian" also anticates Austen's Sir Thomas Bertram, "My guardian was a very distant relative . . . he gave me tutors in all manner of subjects without taking the slightest interest either in my health or in my moral qualities." The connection of Lady Susan to Mansfield Park has been noted many times before, but there is also a connection to the apparently "very different" "idyllic" Emma: when Sophie de Vernon's likens herself to a slave and argues that the norms do not apply to "the oppressed" or powerless, she anticipates Emma's justification of Jane Fairfax's characterization of herself, and her duplicity and clandestine engagement: "one may almost say , that 'the world is not their's, nor the world's law'" (Emma 400).

32 I quote Clifford Siskin, "Jane Austen and the Engendering of Disciplinarity," Jane Austen and the Discourses of Feminism, ed. Devoney Looser (New York: St Martin's Press, 1995), 59-64.

33 Madame de Genlis, Mademoiselle de Clermont, ed., introd. Beatrice Didier (Paris: Régine Deforges, 1977), 22-33, 37-39, 54-55, 67-71. See Persuasion 237. Chantilly is a Pemberley; autumn functions similarly in Clermont and Persuasion; the dangers and pleasures of the forest in Clermont function as the dangers and pleasures of the sea in Persuasion. Mademoiselle de Clermont appears to be another novel not translated into English nor published in the British Isles.

34 See Miller ("Emphasis Added"); Austen's disjunctions are just one of the many of the characteristics her fiction shares with what Didier calls "écriture féminine", 5-40 and 73-127, though it is true she often opts for the bitter and hard. For typically suddenly passages in Austen, see the narrator's venomous portrait of Mrs Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility 232), her malice against Maria Bertram (Mansfield Park 202), her comment on the Musgroves' self- deluded grief (Persuasion 50-51), and a sudden outburst against Lady Russell ("internally her heart revelled in angry pleasure, in pleased contempt," Persuasion 125). On the immedate "line" of novelists to which Austen's belongs see also Cazenobe, 189-93; and Joan Hinde Stewart, Gynographs: French Novels by Women of the Late Eighteenth Century (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993).

35 See Pride and Prejudice 134; see also 137 ("Do not distress me . . . "), and 224-26 (Jane and Elizabeth's conversation after Elizabeth tells Jane the history of Wickham); the 1807 Corinna, or Italy by Mad. De Stael-Holstein (Philadelphia, 1808), 2 vols, I:59; and the recent translation by Sylvia Raphael, Germaine de Staël, Corinne, or Italy, ed John Isbell (New York: Oxford, 1999), p. 72 ("politeness of the heart" becomes "unfailing courtesy"). In type Oswald contains both Marianne and Elinor Dashwood while Count D'Erfeuil approximates Mary Crawford as the cool, frivous socializing type who follows his "sense" and convention, and succeeds much more readily in society, but who can also understand and appreciate natures capable of deeper feeling about objects outside themselves and their desires.

36 Persuasion 184; Pride and Prejudice 368-69; ; Cottin, Amélie Mansfield, I:218. For another passage by Elizabeth Bennet in the same vein, see Pride and Prejudice 237 (it has the ring of Samuel Johnson in his Ramblers).

37 Siskin 64-65. As a recent example of what Siskin is referring to see James Berstein's review of James Wood's The Book of God, and Samantha Matthews of Michèle Robert's The Mistressclass in Times Literary Supplement for April 11, 2003, pp. 3-5 and 8. See also Hilton Tims, Emotion Pictures: The Women's Picture, 1930-55 (London: Columbus Books, 1987); Jeanine Basinger, A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930- 1960 New York: Knopf, 1993).

38 See Shannon R. Wooden, "'You even forget yourself': The Cinematic Construction of Anorexic Women in the 1990s Austen Films," Journal of Popular Culture, 36:2 (2002), 221-35.

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