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This book presents Jane Austen as a radical innovator. It explores the nature of her confrontation with the popular novelists of her time, and demonstrates how her challenge to them transformed fiction. Mary Waldron shows how Austen's novels exemplify the strong skepticism about contemporary notions of the proper content and purpose of fiction that is evident from family letters and other sources. In thus identifying her literary motivation, this book offers a fresh and unifying critique of the novels.
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