Class in Jane Austen - Class in Jane Austens novels As Downie states the events in most of Jane Austens novels centre around the issue of social status

Class in Jane Austen - Class in Jane Austens novels As...

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Class in Jane Austen’s novel s As Downie states, the events in most of Jane Austen’s novels centre around the issue of social status, which, perhaps, is not surprising considering the fact that, as we have already seen, class was an important part of society in those days. The subject described in her novels is “the complex interaction of the various groups which made up the ruling class of Georgian England” (72). The very top of the social ladder, the royalty, are never depicted in Austen’s novels – the person of highest rank presented is most likely Lord Osborne in The Watsons – and the characters that have titles are rarely presented in a favourable way. Lord Osborne is “not much better than a fool”, and Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion is obsessed with his social status; even Sir Thomas Bertram in Mansfield Park, who is “the best of them” overvalues the importance of himself and his family (Copeland and McMaster 116). The professional class – Austen’s own social class – seems to be

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