Hoy os traigo un artículo de Douglas Murray publicado en Review of English Studies (2015)66 (277): 954-970.doi: 10.1093/res/hgv046,  de Oxford University Press, titulado «Donwell Abbey and Box Hill: Purity and Danger in Jane Austen’s Emma».

En este artículo quiero destacar algo mencionado en el último Congreso de Jane Austen (CEU-San Pablo) en Madrid, sobre las alegorías en los lugares y personajes de las novelas de Jane Austen. ¿Más allá de ser meros escenarios con personas, se referían a aspectos superiores de la nación, o de la humanidad, en general? Una tesis muy bonita para desarrollar. Aquí os dejo los detalles, como siempre en original, y el enlace al sitio de la revista:



In the final volume of Emma, the heroine visits two places, the first feigned and the second real: Donwell Abbey, then Box Hill. This article argues that these two episodes, when read together, offer insights into the novel’s handling of character and space. In the past, readers have generally interpreted the description of the Donwell estate as Austen’s contribution to the nation-defining discourse of her era. However, I argue that this passage is a key to Emma’s personality, in particular her strict adherence to what anthropologist Mary Douglas characterizes as ‘clean’, systematized and organized spaces. Austen contrasts the neat Donwell estate with Box Hill. The visit to the latter demonstrates considerable awareness of Enlightenment descriptions of this locale. I analyze seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth-century accounts and images of Box Hill, adopting the terms and insights of cultural geographers and anthropologists. Unlike the Donwell landscape, Box Hill was a site of contested ownership, thus not a part of the oligarchical economy of Britain; most importantly it was a dirty landscape of dubious reputation and transgressive acts. Austen moves Emma from one site to the other, developing the drama of Emma’s dynamic character against this backdrop of contrasting spaces.