Jane Austen and slavery.

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Authors: Janet Todd and Anurag Jain
Date: May 28, 2021
From: TLS. Times Literary Supplement(Issue 6165)
Publisher: NI Syndication Limited
Document Type: Letter to the editor
Length: 655 words
Lexile Measure: 1370L

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I read with great admiration Devoney Looser's essay on the Austen family's "complex entanglements with slavery" (May 21). Along with other issues of race and colonialism, the subject of slavery has now overwhelmed literary studies, much as feminism and women's issues did in the 1970s and beyond. So anything written in a scholarly context and concerning a global icon such as Jane Austen will reverberate in the wider culture, often in uncomplex ways. Looser mentions, for example, the rather comic furore that greeted the suggestion from the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton that, responding to public curiosity, they would interrogate Austen family links with slavers: this modest interrogation was translated by headline writers in the popular press into an attack on the author's habit of drinking tea.

Looser's essay is subtle and nuanced and well aware of the dangers of over--and understatement. It teases out more facts than have before been known concerning George Austen's relationships with the Nibbs family and their...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A667422797