Date of this Version
Published in 1975, Marilyn Butler’s Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (Oxford: Clarendon Press) instantly detached Austen from the constricted world of the "little bit of ivory, two inches wide, on which I work with so fine a brush as to produce little effect after much labour." Before Butler, Austen’s critics, whether they valued or despised that world, had agreed in finding it by and large confined to her little bit of ivory. Since Butler, Austen’s readers see that her fictions, and Austen herself, clearly engage with the great world of her revolutionary times.
Date Posted: 16 February 2007