La admiración por Jane Austen da la vuelta al mundo, y hoy os traigo un artículo publicado en la Revista, Nineteenth Century Literature in English, Abbr : 19세기 영어권 문학, 2016, vol.20, no.1, pp. 95-121 (27 pages), publicado por The Korean Society Of Nineteenth Century Literature In English, y desarrollado por Young Seon Won.

Highbury se convierte en una «pequeña Inglaterra», donde los personajes de distintas clases sociales interaccionan entre sí, que reflejan los cambios sociales que se estaban produciendo en el país.

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Jane Austen’s Emma presents fewer ‘speaking’ characters than any of other novels, and its entire action is confined to a single, almost parochial, place, Highbury. The novel’s such peculiarities seem to make it fit into the author’s famous recipe of her subject, “3 or 4 families in a country village.” The centrality of Higbury in the novel, however, does not merely stem from its role as a country village-setting in which a few main characters’ story unfolds; the novel oddly persuades the readers that Highbury is bustle with people crisscrossing the boundaries of class, status, and space, thus fashioning itself after Britain Island in Austen’s time. Focusing on the two minor characters, Mr. Perry the apothecary and Miss Bates, instead of the main characters, this study attempts to explore Highbury in its ways to crystallize both Austen’s experiment with a workable communal society and her representation of the contemporary society. Highbury’s social and human network, with Mr. Perry and Miss Bates at its center, operates to contain both class mobility and inter-class communication, while at the same time showing itself on its way to face new changes to be part of larger circuits in contemporary England. Rather unusual with its close reading of the two minor characters in their social and narrative positions as it is, the essay does not look into the issues involved in the novel’s main plot and characters, although it briefly touches on Highbury’s historical future in relation to Austen’s later depiction of the ‘speculation’ town in Sanditon.