By F. R. Leavis
Quantity 2 of a variety from Scrutiny opens with Mrs Leavis's a lot quoted reviews, which jointly shape 'A serious thought of Jane Austen's Writings'. There follows a bit 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 prestigious 'Preliminary Survey' of Wordsworth; the both celebrated 'On Metaphysical Poetry' and the examine of As you love It. a piece on 'The English culture' reprints reports of Jefferies, Beatrice Webb, Sturt and Piers Plowman.
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Extra info for A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2
D. LEAVIS working in material from her early writings and her correspondence. Frederica was, in Lady Susan, a victim, abused by her mother; she attracts an earlier victim, the Maria Williams who wrote Letter the Third in * A Collection of Letters' in the second MS volume, which I described in the previous article. The down-trodden Maria Williams with her poor home combines with Frederica to produce Fanny Price,1 bringing with her, to do the victimizing, the bullying and nagging aspects of Lady Greville; we have in Mansfield Park not only Mrs Norris but the very carriage incident from that early Letter, rooted into the new work as I have shown.
See Letters, Nov. —Such a circumstance ought to be in print. ' 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).
So might Fanny have written to her brother of Miss Crawford, for whom she has the same distrust from the start that Mrs Vernon had for Lady Susan, but it is actually Mrs Vernon's description when writing to her brother of her sister-in-law. Like Reginald, Edmund starts by suspicion and disapproval, but he is won over against his judgment to find himself in the same uneasy position of having to justify a prepossession of which he is ashamed by sophistry: 'But against reason, against conviction, to be so well pleased with her as I am sure he is, does really astonish me.