By F. R. Leavis
Quantity 2 of a variety from Scrutiny opens with Mrs Leavis's a lot quoted experiences, which jointly shape 'A serious idea of Jane Austen's Writings'. There follows a piece of studies of novelists (Dorothy Richardson, Gissing, Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Henry James), and Mrs Leavis's learn of Edith Wharton. Then there are 3 of James Smith's essays: the distinguished 'Preliminary Survey' of Wordsworth; the both celebrated 'On Metaphysical Poetry' and the research of As you love It. a piece on 'The English culture' reprints experiences of Jefferies, Beatrice Webb, Sturt and Piers Plowman.
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Additional info for A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2
A foolish young man of great estate, Sir James Martin, whom Lady Susan intends to force Frederica to marry, pursues them to Churchill. Frederica appeals by letter to Reginald to use his influence with her mother to save her from a wretched marriage, and in consequence Reginald has a temporary breach with Lady Susan, soon healed, however, by her artful explanations. She goes off to London, followed by Reginald, whom she has all along managed to persuade into believing her to be what he would like to think her.
It was not lost. It appeared in print as Harriet's piece of court-plaster and pencil-stub. Emma's fancying herself in love with Frank Churchill and then him with herself is also adapted from Fanny's confidences. That the dilemma, the heart-searchings and the self-deception should be divided in the novel between two characters is Jane Austen's characteristic process of making life fit for art. 19 JANE AUSTEN evidently a handsome, lively and charming young woman, but it would be unsound as well as unnecessary to assume that Fanny Knight also embodied Emma's peculiar kind of folly—that was the moral of the book, an intellectual invention, like the Pride and Prejudice, the Sense and Sensibility morals, all variations of the Reason versus Romance idea that Jane Austen never tired of (she was at it again on her death-bed in Sanditon).
But I have still to show that it was an intermediary between Lady Susan and Mansfield Park, stories whose plot, intrigues and characterization are superficially so different. I hope the reader will bear in mind the demonstration in the last number of Scrutiny of how The Watsons became Emma. Precisely the same process can be demonstrated here, though much more richly and subtly, but not always so consciously, in action. The quotation from Mr Hubback's important reminiscences links Eliza de Feuillide with Lady Susan as regards her personality and the situation she created in the Austen family, but, as the reader may have noticed, it also links Eliza with Mansfield Park by way of the theatricals and the ordination business.
A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2 by F. R. Leavis
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