Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice Essay

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In the following excerpt, Brown discusses how Austen offers a powerful commentary on the changes— in society, gender attitudes, and class structure In early nineteenth century England.

As for the historical content of the [Austen]

novels, students may not see it because they think

of social history as "history with the politics left out," as G. M. Trevelyan once described it, rather than what it is: the essential foundation that gives shape to everything else. For the cultural historian Raymond Williams, for example, Austen's novels provide an accurate record of that moment in English history in which high bourgeois society most evidently interlocked with an agrarian capitalism. "An openly acquisitive society,"_ writes Williams [in The Country and the City, 1975], "which is concerned also with the transmission of wealth, is trying to Judge itself at once by an inherited code and by the morality of improvement." What is...

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This section contains 2,456 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pride and Prejudice Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Pride and Prejudice from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.