Sex, Class, and Culture

Indiana University Press
Bloomington, Indiana
Publication year

See the chapter titled "On Reading Trash": "Most of this essay will be focused on a contrast between the works of Jane Austen and those of Georgette Heyer" (202).

If it is possible to read Jane Austen for the same reasons one reads Georgette Heyer, then coming to understand what makes it possible suggests some conclusions about what women read and why. In both its high and its popular avatars, this sort of novel centers on the private concerns of women, domestic, marital, and personal. [...] Both novelists [...] are saying that the personal *matters* [...]. At the same time, the import of historical fiction for women is to reinforce the notion that the public world, however much its vicissitudes may influence women's lives, is always at one remove from women. (221)


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