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Jane's fame : how Jane Austen conquered the world
Harman, Claire.
Adult Nonfiction PR4036 .H37 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Diverting anecdotes pepper award-winning British biographer Harman's (Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson) sharp and scholarly analysis of Jane Austen's life and the posthumous exploitation of her as a "global brand" having "everything to do with recognition and little to do with reading." Tracing the rise and fall and rise of Austen's reputation against a larger historical backdrop, Harman chronicles the WWI-era worshipping "Janeites"; assessments of Austen that minimized her as an "accidental artist"; and modern post-feminist criticism that, in exploring her politics, sexual and otherwise, has placed Austen "in several mutually exclusive spheres at once." Harman notes that film versions have taken liberties with and overshadowed Austen's books, concluding that "[o]ne of the horrible ironies of Austen's currency in contemporary popular culture is that she is referenced so freely . in discussions of 'empowerment,' 'girl power,' and all the other travesties of womanly self-fashioning that stand in for feminism" today. Yet "it is impossible to imagine a time when she or her works could have delighted us long enough." Harman herself delights with this comprehensive catalogue of Austen-mania. Illus. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This most recent addition to Austen biography takes an interesting tack, covering not only the life of the author but the life of her work. Harman-affiliated with Manchester, Oxford, and Columbia universities and having had a distinguished history of critically acclaimed writings on literary figures (including Sylvia Townsend Warner, Fanny Burney, and Robert Louis Stevenson)-presents Austen in all her contradictory glory: at once the dutifully domestic daughter who also pursued the "oddish" feminist career of "authoress" and the author of modest success during her lifetime who fuels a multimillion-dollar "Austenmania" industry generations after her death. Fast paced and engaging, Jane's Fame illuminates Austen's writing and publishing history and traces the rise and fall (and rise again) of her popularity over the years. From being damned with faint praise from male critics to helping inspire the recent chick-lit craze, Austen's books have moved into Bollywood and beyond, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Verdict Continuing interest in Austen's works, ignited by films and other derivative works, will create a popular audience for this accessible volume, which should also please the scholarly crowd.-Alison M. Lewis, formerly with Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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