The Cambridge Companion to 'Pride and Prejudice'

Cambridge University Press
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Named in many surveys as Britain's best-loved work of fiction, Pride and Prejudice is now a global brand, with film and television adaptations making Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy household names. With a combination of original readings and factual background information, this Companion investigates some of the sources of the novel's power. It explores key themes and topics in detail: money, land, characters and style. The history of the book's composition and first publication is set out, both in individual essays and in the section of chronology. Chapters on the critical reception, adaptations and cult of the novel reveal why it has become an enduing classic with a unique and timeless appeal.
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About the author

Janet Todd is the President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Feb 7, 2013
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Pages
236
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ISBN
9781107495678
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Renaissance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The mesmerizing story of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, one of the rare women who matched wits successfully with the fiery king and lived to tell the tale.

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'Fascinating scholarship. Todd conveys Behn's vivacious character and the mores of the time' New York Times

'All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn; for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,' said Virginia Woolf. Yet that tomb, in Westminster Abbey, records one of the few uncontested facts about this Restoration playwright, poet of the erotic and bisexual, political propagandist, novelist and spy: the date of her death, 16 April 1689. For the rest secrecy and duplicity are almost the key to her life. She loved codes, making and breaking them; writing her life becomes a decoding of a passionate but playful woman.

In this revised biography, Janet Todd draws on documents she has rediscovered in the Dutch archives, and on Behn's own writings, to tell a story of court, diplomatic and sexual intrigue, and of the rise from humble origins of the first woman to earn her living as a professional writer.

Aphra Behn's first notable employment was as a royal spy in Holland; she had probably also spied in Surinam. It was not until she was in her thirties that she published the first of the nineteen plays and other works which established her fame (though not riches) among her 'good, sweet, honey-candied readers'. Many of her works were openly erotic, indeed as frank as anything by her friends Wycherley and Rochester. Some also offered an inside view of court and political intrigues, and Todd reveals the historical scandals and legal cases behind some of Behn's most famous 'fictions'.

Janet Todd, novelist and internationally renowned scholar, was president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and a Professor at Rutgers, NJ. An expert on women's writing and feminism, she has written about many writers, including Jane Austen, the Shelley Circle, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aphra Behn.

'Ground-breaking it reads quickly and lightly. Even Todd's throwaway lines are steeped in learning' Women's Review of Books

'A major biography; of interest to everyone who cares about women as writers' Times Higher Education Supplement
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