R. W. Chapman’s definitive text editions of the novels provided the basis for scholarly work on Jane Austen after 1923 and Elizabeth Jenkins’s Life of 1938, though not literary criticism, was literary biography, and considered the development of Austen as a novelist. In the following year Mary Lascelles’ Jane Austen and Her Art was published. This was the first full-length scholarly work to set the novels in their historical and biographical context in order then to analyse them critically. Lascelles gives as her inspiration A. C. Bradley’s lecture (see above) but her work goes much further towards correcting the suggestions that Austen’s writing, spontaneous and unpolished, defies analysis.
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- ‘The first modern novel in England’: The Mid-twentieth Century
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