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Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Worldly Realism$
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Pam Morris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419130

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419130.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Sense and Sensibility: Wishing is Believing

Sense and Sensibility: Wishing is Believing

(p.29) Chapter 1 Sense and Sensibility: Wishing is Believing
Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Worldly Realism

Pam Morris

Edinburgh University Press

Sense and Sensibility, traces the movement of young female protagonists from a traditional patrician place into a more heterogeneous social space, a shift from time-denying idealist values to empirical possibility. In this novel, Austen registers a transitional moment when consensual notions of self begin to change, when self is privatised. Earlier traditions of embodied sociability give way to emergent individualistic values centred upon an idea of self as superior interiority, or upon competitive acquisition as aggrandisement of identity. Both these ideas of self are subject to Austen’s irony, which demonstrates how even the most cherished sense of interiority derives largely from very ordinary things. The novel explores the associated individualistic ideologies of privacy and domesticity utilising a chain of references to fireplaces and domestic hearths and to literalised metaphors of warmth and coldness.

Keywords:   place/space, vertical/horizontal order, sociability, interiority, privacy, domesticity, fireplaces, hearths

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