Book Suggestion: Jane Austen and her body

Jane Austen has been thought of as a novelist of manners whose work discreetly avoids discussing the physical. John Wiltshire shows, on the contrary, how important are bodies and faces, illness and health, in the novels, from complainers and invalids such as Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Woodhouse, to the frail, debilitated Fanny Price, the vulnerable Jane Fairfax and the “picture of health,” Emma. The book draws on modern theories of the body, and on eighteenth-century medical sources, to give a fresh and controversial reading of familiar texts.

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