Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Imagining women readers, 1789-1820Well-regulated minds$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

De Ritter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090332

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090332.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Making the novel-readers of a country: pleasure and the practised reader

Making the novel-readers of a country: pleasure and the practised reader

Chapter:
(p.168) 5 Making the novel-readers of a country: pleasure and the practised reader
Source:
Imagining women readers, 1789-1820
Author(s):

Richard De Ritter

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090332.003.0005

This chapter considers an important, but frequently neglected, outcome of reading: pleasure. It places this subject within the context of early nineteenth-century debates about novel-reading. While pleasure was often seen as a threat to the efficient management of one's imaginative economy, writers including Anna Letitia Barbauld celebrate what Jane Austen describes as the ‘unaffected pleasure’ produced by novel-reading. But is pleasure really as simple and spontaneous a matter as Austen appears to imply? To what extent does it disrupt the regulatory function of reading? These questions are explored in relation to Austen's Northanger Abbey and Barbauld's The British Novelists, as well as works by Hannah More and John Aikin. Ultimately, the texts discussed in this chapter celebrate the identity of the female novel-reader; they draw upon earlier debates about reading to suggest ways of reconciling the pursuit of pleasure with the exercise of independent, critical judgement.

Keywords:   Reading, Novels, Pleasure, Shame, Domesticity, Nation, Jane Austen, Anna Letitia Barbauld, John Aikin

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.