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Jane Austen in the Context of Abolition

'a fling at the slave trade'

Jane Austen in the Context of Abolition by Gabrielle D.V. White
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The book argues that amongst their other riches Jane Austen's last three novels presuppose Britain's outlawing of its transatlantic slave trade in 1807. The book takes as a keynote William Cowper's question: 'We have no slaves at home-Then why abroad?' Jane Austen's later fiction was written during the first decade of an interim period following the 1807 Abolition. It would be over sixteen years after her premature death in July 1817 before chattel slavery was abolished for British Colonies in the 1830s. This book concludes that there is subtlety in Jane Austen's references to topics associated with the great abolitionist campaigning of her time, and that she avoided being counter-productive. It argues that, contrary to some interpretations such as those of Edward Said, Jane Austen undermined the status quo of chattel slavery and that she celebrated the abolition of the slave trade in her Chawton novels.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2005
242 pages; ISBN 9780230506138
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Title: Jane Austen in the Context of Abolition
Author: Gabrielle D.V. White
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