Chapter 15. Narrative Technique: Austen and Her Contemporaries

  1. Claudia L. Johnson Chair and
  2. Clara Tuite Senior Lecturer
  1. Jane Spencer Professor

Published Online: 6 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch15

A Companion to Jane Austen

A Companion to Jane Austen

How to Cite

Spencer, J. (2009) Narrative Technique: Austen and Her Contemporaries, in A Companion to Jane Austen (eds C. L. Johnson and C. Tuite), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch15

Editor Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Author Information

  1. University of Exeter, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405149099

Online ISBN: 9781444305968



  • narrative technique - Austen and her contemporaries;
  • influence of Belinda in the “light, and bright, and sparkling” tones of Pride and Prejudice;
  • Austen's juvenilia containing joyful parodies of the excesses of fashionable sentimental fiction;
  • Northanger Abbey, with its delighted spoof of Radcliffean Gothic, continuing her parodic vein into the full-length novel;
  • The Romantics, especially Scott and Byron, receiving some attention;
  • Austen responding to what Anne Elliot and Captain Benwick call “the richness of the present age” in poetry;
  • narrative technique;
  • In Mansfield Park, Fanny Price's appreciation of trees and stars - an index of her sensitivity and isolation;
  • In Persuasion, Anne's response to autumn, and the poetry of autumn - delineates her feelings after an eight years' parting from Wentworth


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Further Reading