By F. R. Leavis
Quantity 2 of a range from Scrutiny opens with Mrs Leavis's a lot quoted stories, which jointly shape 'A serious thought of Jane Austen's Writings'. There follows a bit of experiences of novelists (Dorothy Richardson, Gissing, Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Henry James), and Mrs Leavis's research 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're keen on It. a piece on 'The English culture' reprints reviews of Jefferies, Beatrice Webb, Sturt and Piers Plowman.
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Extra info for A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2
38 Q. D. LEAVIS Austen, but what we know of the volatile Henry, the brilliant talker, the lively wit, the man of the world of the family, corresponds with the favourable aspects of Henry Crawford (the name is again a clue here1), and no one who reads Jane's letter about her brother on losing his wife Eliza (' Upon the whole his spirits are very much recovered. If I may so express myself his mind is not a mind for affliction; he is too busy, too active, too sanguine'2) can suppose him the original in any respect of Reginald-Edmund.
Lady Susan's daughter surprisingly belongs to the latter camp, and though as matters stand her possession at sixteen of' Principles... not to be injured even by her Mother, or all her Mother's friends' is preposterous, we note it as a convenience for signifying that Frederica is to contrast with her mother morally as well as to stand in rivalry with her for the hero's affections, to which she is to succeed. Next, there is roughed out the character of the principal. She is a woman of fashion who despises the country and expects to be bored there and who feels superior to country people with their rustic morality and simple minds; she is a widow still young and very attractive who lives on her charms and intends if possible to make a good marriage, though she values her recently acquired liberty and is in two minds about surrendering it.
2 33 LSF 2 JANE AUSTEN original domestic drama of Steventon Rectory but invented for the novelist to illuminate and offset Lady Susan. We can see how this was inevitable. Instead of adopting the ironical external position of the author of anti-romance, she has to identify herself with the consciousness of a heroine (as she does in every novel but Northanger Abbey, which remains primarily a squib); it couldn't be the amoral Lady Susan's, so it must be either Mrs Vernon's (too entirely sisterly to be interesting) or Frederica's (too simple, she being only the consolation prize for the hero).
A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2 by F. R. Leavis