California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Wiltshire, John.
Title Jane Austen and the body : "the picture of health" / John Wiltshire.
Published Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Book Cover

 Floor4  PR4038.M4 W5 1992    IN LIBRARY
Description xiii, 251 p. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-248) and index.
Contents Introduction: Jane Austen and the body -- 1. Sense, sensibility and the proofs of affection -- 2. 'Eloquent blood': the coming out of Fanny Price -- 3. Emma: the picture of health -- 4. Persuasion: the pathology of everyday life -- 5. Sandition: the enjoyments of invalidism.
Summary Jane Austen has been read as a novelist of manners, whose work discreetly avoids discussing the physical. John Wiltshire shows, on the contrary, how important are faces and bodies in her texts, from complainers and invalids like Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Woodhouse, to the frail, debilitated Fanny Price, the vulnerable Jane Fairfax and the 'picture of health, ' Emma. Talk about health and illness in the novels is abundant, and constitutes community, but it also serves to disguise the operation of social and gender politics. Behind the medical paraphernalia and incidents are serious concerns with the nature of power as exerted through and on the body, and with the manifold meanings of illness. 'Nerves; 'spirits' and sensibility figure largely in these books, and Jane Austen is seen to offer a critique of the gendering power of illness and nursing or attendance upon illness.
Drawing on modern - medical and feminist - theories of illness and the body, as well as on eighteenth-century medical sources, to illuminate the novels, this book offers new and controversial, but also scholarly, readings of these familiar texts.
Subject Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Knowledge -- Medicine.
Literature and medicine -- England -- History -- 19th century.
Women and literature -- England -- History -- 19th century.
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Knowledge -- Anatomy.
Romance fiction, English -- History and criticism.
Human body in literature.
Medicine in literature.
Health in literature.
ISBN 9780521414760 (hc)
0521414768 (hc)
OCLC number 25009110