Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Hidden beneath the structure of Regency England lies a society near eruption. In Persuasion, Austen brings her characters on a journey through the landscape of social revolution. Bath serves as pinnacle of this journey –the battlefield where characters are invited to perform according to their social training.

The initial skirmish takes place before the book begins and uses social fighting techniques of the pre-Napoleonic war. It is fought within an aristocratic structure, and defeats our heroine. The second battle, however, is conducted under completely different training mechanisms. This second skirmish follows the fall of aristocracy and the rise of meritocracy. Although crushed by the previous defeat, through the new structure, Anne and her friends are able to claim victory. Yes, as one critic has said, Anne “defeats” Bath, but it is much more than a victory over place. She has also re-written history for herself and those who follow her.

Origin of Submission

more than one of the above

Faculty Involvement

Paul Westover

Location

3082 JFSB

Start Date

18-3-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

18-3-2016 10:30 AM

Share

COinS
 
Mar 18th, 9:00 AM Mar 18th, 10:30 AM

The Revolution of Bath: The Writing and Re-Writing of Social History in Jane Austen's Persuasion

3082 JFSB

Hidden beneath the structure of Regency England lies a society near eruption. In Persuasion, Austen brings her characters on a journey through the landscape of social revolution. Bath serves as pinnacle of this journey –the battlefield where characters are invited to perform according to their social training.

The initial skirmish takes place before the book begins and uses social fighting techniques of the pre-Napoleonic war. It is fought within an aristocratic structure, and defeats our heroine. The second battle, however, is conducted under completely different training mechanisms. This second skirmish follows the fall of aristocracy and the rise of meritocracy. Although crushed by the previous defeat, through the new structure, Anne and her friends are able to claim victory. Yes, as one critic has said, Anne “defeats” Bath, but it is much more than a victory over place. She has also re-written history for herself and those who follow her.