Editor-in-Chief. Email: chiefeditor [AT] springmagazine.net
The current issue of Spring Magazine for English Literature has, as its focus, Jane Austen. She was dismissed for a great number of years as a writer of “domestic novels,” or “novels of manner”, depicting the mores and conditions of the period. She is, notwithstanding the branding, a remarkable writer, mostly because of the manner in which she acts as a bridge between Romanticism and Victorianism. While it is not clear whether Austen read Mary Woolstencraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women, the feminist ideas that the text propagated are represented in the works of Austen, in the form of strong women characters. While the indictment that Austen does not directly refer to political events of the time, such as the Napoleanic wars, is justified, the emancipation that such wars brought about is shown in her novels. Further, Austen’s heroines can be seen as precursors to the Victorian concept of the “new woman”. These characters, may it be Emma, or Elizabeth, or Fanny Brown, or Marianne and Eleanor Dashwood, have minds of their own, which they use in not just making decisions for themselves, but also by acknowledging their own mistakes. The nuances in the characters of Jane Austen make one aware of the equally subtle social commentary that she indulges in. Such complexity in character designing makes Austen a pioneer in not just “feminist” novels, but also in the art of novel writing per se. The present volume focuses on several facets of Austen’s works.
The issue also has other articles of general interest. I hope that the reader will enjoy perusing them. The target reader being students, I hope they will find the articles useful.