Abstract: While Jane Austen's 1791 History of England is generally considered a parody of Oliver Goldsmith's History of England: From the Earliest Times to the Death of George II and history writing, this essay asks readers to consider Austen's work as something beyond burlesque. In studying Austen's text as a vindication, and in terms of martyrology, it becomes clear that Austen takes seriously her task in defending Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I. In putting Austen's juvenilia into conversation with her marginalia written beforehand in the family's volume of Goldsmith's History of England and Vicesimus Knox's Elegant Extracts, this essay shows that Austen's vindication of the Stuarts extends beyond the History and Mary and Charles I as she defends the Stuart heirs, including the Jacobite pretenders. In addition to addressing Austen's Stuart sympathy, this combined analysis of the juvenilia and marginalia contextualizes Austen's adolescent writing in terms of generic multiplicity, as well as the distinction between private and public writing spheres.
The Eighteenth Century – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 15, 2015
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