Catalogue


Jane Austen and eighteenth-century courtesy books /
Penelope Joan Fritzer.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997.
description
123 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0313305234 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997.
isbn
0313305234 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
1864771
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [113]-116) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-05-01:
Fritzer (Florida Atlantic Univ.) investigates Austen's novels as the epitome of the novel of manners by examining the concepts and terms of the manners promoted in the 18th century. She carefully delineates the work undertaken to define courtesy literature, especially emphasizing how the concerns of morality and development of character should prevail over simpler concerns about rules of etiquette or elements of fashion. Mary Poovey's The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer (CH, Sep'84) is the major published study of the topic, though numerous articles and many lengthy studies of Jane Austen touch on the subject. What distinguishes Fritzer's approach is that she offers a full definition of courtesy books, drawing a good deal on primary sources. She pulls together, reexamines, and enlarges previous notions of how these concepts appear in Austen, devoting chapters to education, recreation, social intercourse, and personal characteristics. Faculty and graduate students will find most use for Fritzer's sparse, focused, and well-researched examination, though upper-division undergraduates in courses exploring the rich cultural background of Austen's life and times will also be glad to have it. T. Loe SUNY College at Oswego
Reviews
Review Quotes
"What distinguishes Fritzer's approach is that she offers a full definition of courtesy books, drawing a good deal on primary sources. She pulls together, reexamines, and enlarges previous notions of how these concepts appear in Austen, devoting chapters to education, recreation, social intercourse, and personal characteristics. Faculty and graduate students will find most use for Fritzer's sparse, focused, and well-researched examination, though upper-division undergraduates in courses exploring the rich cultural background of Austen's life and times will also be glad to have it."- Choice
'œFritzer's work provides valuable insights into what Austen believed regarding conduct and morality, and what courtesy book authors espoused....Fritzer allows us to redisover Austen by way of discovering courtesy book literature.'' JASNA News
"Fritzer's work provides valuable insights into what Austen believed regarding conduct and morality, and what courtesy book authors espoused....Fritzer allows us to redisover Austen by way of discovering courtesy book literature."- JASNA News
'œWhat distinguishes Fritzer's approach is that she offers a full definition of courtesy books, drawing a good deal on primary sources. She pulls together, reexamines, and enlarges previous notions of how these concepts appear in Austen, devoting chapters to education, recreation, social intercourse, and personal characteristics. Faculty and graduate students will find most use for Fritzer's sparse, focused, and well-researched examination, though upper-division undergraduates in courses exploring the rich cultural background of Austen's life and times will also be glad to have it.'' Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
One of the most important novelists of the early 19th century, Jane Austen (1775-1817) continues to be read and studied today. Throughout her novels, she creates characters who embody various virtues and limitations. The best characters represent the best behavior, just as the less admirable ones behave in less admirable ways. The courtesy books of the 18th century advise certain moral behavior for character development. This book studies Austen's parallels to 18th century courtesy books. Educational and recreational activities in Austen's novels, such as reading, dancing, card-playing, and theatre-going, are often similar to those activities recommended in the courtesy books with which Austen would have been familiar. So too, various social activities and personal characteristics depicted in Austen's novels frequently accord with courtesy book recommendations. Proper behavior was of great concern to Austen's contemporaries. Throughout the 18th century, numerous courtesy books were written, advocating certain moral behavior for character development. Austen would have been familiar with these books, for they were influential during the late 18th century, when she grew up, and in the early 19th century, when her works were published. Although Austen is known as a novelist of manners, surprisingly little work has been done to compare the manners recommended by the courtesy books of the time with the manners of the characters in her novels. This study demonstrates Austen's parallels with 18th century courtesy books in shaping her characters. Educational and recreational activities in her works are often similar to the activities recommended by the courtesy books of her time. So too, the social activities and personal characteristics she presents frequently accord with the recommendations of the courtesy books. Austen's reliance on courtesy books is of great importance, for scholars have generally held that her novels are reflective of the manners of the period. Without the documentation that this study provides, such assertions would remain empty of authority.
Long Description
One of the most important novelists of the early 19th century, Jane Austen (1775-1817) continues to be read and studied today. Throughout her novels, she creates characters who embody various virtues and limitations. The best characters represent the best behavior, just as the less admirable ones behave in less admirable ways. Proper behavior was of great concern to Austen's contemporaries. Throughout the 18th century, numerous courtesy books were written, advocating certain moral behavior for character development. Austen would have been familiar with these books, for they were influential during the late 18th century, when she grew up, and in the early 19th century, when her works were published. Although Austen is known as a novelist of manners, surprisingly little work has been done to compare the manners recommended by the courtesy books of the time with the manners of the characters in her novels. This study demonstrates Austen's parallels with 18th century courtesy books in shaping her characters. Educational and recreational activities in her works are often similar to the activities recommended by the courtesy books of her time. So too, the social activities and personal characteristics she presents frequently accord with the recommendations of the courtesy books. Austen's reliance on courtesy books is of great importance, for scholars have generally held that her novels are reflective of the manners of the period. Without the documentation that this study provides, such assertions would remain empty of authority.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Education Recreation
Social Intercourse
Personal Character
Conclusion
Works Cited
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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