Jane Austen and the State of
New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 196 pp.
Austen’s England was plagued with widespread poverty, an unprecedented national
debt, economic recessions, bank failures, and the Post-Waterloo crash, followed
by a national financial depression. No wonder Austen’s characters are
preoccupied with money. Jane Austen and the State of the Nation mines
Austen’s novels for references to all of these economic upheavals and to
taxation, the Poor Laws, minimum wage debates, the Bank of England bailout, and
the Corn Laws; and in doing so, reveals Jane Austen’s liberal-Tory political
bias, and her complexity as a novelist and chronicler of her time.
Introduction: Jane Austen’s
— Juvenilia: a liberal conservative
— Sense and Sensibility: poor law reform
— Pride and Prejudice: the
— Northanger Abbey and the Watsons: the restriction act
— Mansfield Park: the condition of England
— Emma: William Pitt’s utopia
— Persuasion: the post-Waterloo crash
— Sanditon: a political novel.
Sheryl Craig,is Instructor ofEnglish and Philosophy Department, University of
Central Missouri, USA.
Jane Austen (1775-1817)