A quick one on beauty - it's nice to have, lovely to see, but it will last you in a relationship exactly until you open your mouth - and then you're on your own. Pretty faces are no substitute for ugly minds. Don't forget Mrs Bennet, Lady Bertram, the two Misses Bertram and Elizabeth Elliot were all beautiful women - on the outside. I had best go and skin a jumbuck or something, while you try and wheedle your way out of that one!
I've been thinking - Now THERE'S a subject! Fortunately, it doesn't arise too often - One of the reasons that I respect JA so much, is the way in which she can see to the heart of basic human relationships, and identify what goes to make them bearable. For instance: She goes a long way towards identifying that which is important in married life. I must here tell you that I have just finished reading a submission from the Republic of Pemberley that postulated a lesbian connection (!) between Charlotte Lucas and Elizabeth Bennet. Words fail me. Well, no, words never fail me, but frustration often drives me to (many) words. JA's overall theme in all of her novels is that of the virtue of self-control, and the necessity of considering and allowing for the feelings of others in our little daily lives. She does not blithely portray all of the long-term relationships in her novels as being happy, but she does point out the obligations that members of these relationships should respect, for their own happiness, and for that of those around (and dependent upon) them. Two quotes - not exact - Elinor Dashwood to Willoughby - 'your wife has a claim upon your good manners, your politeness, at least' - at the very least, I would think, as this creep goes around simultaneously spending his wife's money and rubbishing her to others.
Second - JA's own comment upon the Bennets' marriage, when, while not condoning Mrs Bennet's stupidity, she nevertheless rightly points out that Mr Bennet, by exposing his wife to the ridicule of her own children (knowing that she had not the brains to defend herself), was acting reprehensibly. This reminds me of a comment in Clive James' autobiography, when, after a particularly stupid act, he is told by Joyce Grenfell that, in her opinion, those with a pretension to intelligence are under a greater obligation to behave with social and moral responsibility, not a lesser one.
Don't I just rabbit on! Have I conveyed my meaning? Our present society often saddens me, because we seem to teach people that relationships and responsibilities are disposable items, and that commitment is a short-term concept only. I also feel, and naturally I can't justify this from her text, that, although JA knew about sexual attraction - obviously! - she also knew that human love and commitment are deeper and more worthwhile virtues. A great many children in 1998 would be happier if their parents were committed to 'conjugal decorum and politeness', and to long-term relationships.
What do you reckon?
Oh, and just quickly - I am in trouble at home for using up expensive Internet time - would it be possible, perhaps, to send some of this stuff as e-mail, which means I could turn off the Net while I am typing and looking up books? Please remember that I am computer illiterate!All said now,
Don't tell me - don't tell me! Let me guess. Yes, I am sure that there are 8 quid to the jumbuck - umm, unless, of course, they have been chewed.
You are such a practical person; I could never feel that way. I mean that you seem to think of feminine beauty only in terms of its utility in a relationship. I have sometimes thought that women knew how to enhance and utilize beauty without really knowing the true effect it has upon men. Thank you for being so explicit. The effect is not just erotic you know, far from it. It is wondrous and esthetic as well.
You may not be strictly correct about my wheedling: I say that because I can remember my poor, departed mother so often saying "YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CHARM YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS ONE!" Of course, that was the clear signal that, in fact, I had charmed my way out of that one. My mother would have been able to deal with wheedling with far more resolve.
Ah yes, the Bennets - two characters from JA's novel devoted to the evils of over-reliance on first impressions. My take on nearly every character in that book is different from that of every other person I have heard discuss the novel. This world can seem such a lonely place to me at times. However, your posting shows that you are beginning to evolve an opinion of Mr. Bennet that is close to mine - the man is despicable. He ridicules his younger daughters in public and insults his wife in front of her daughters in the home. It is his indolence that has caused the main problem in the novel. The entailment cannot have been a suprise, he must have known about it since his childhood. He whines to Elizabeth that it had been too late to save money after he and his wife had given up hope of producing a male heir. What has that to do with anything? Even if he had produced a son, the girls would still need dowries. Is he implying that the son would be required to produce the dowries? Compare this with the twenty thousand pounds bequeathed to each of the Bingley sisters or the thirty thousand to Georgianna Darcy. JA makes the clearest demonstration of this character's failings when he abandons his brother-in-law to continue the search for Lydia while he scurries home to his library. Here is my controversial interpretation - check me on this. JA makes his character so deficient because she chose to make Elizabeth a daddy's girl; every time she goes astray in her thinking, her father is in full accord. She only begins to re-evaluate her reliance on her father when she perceives the mistakes he is making with Lydia. On the other hand, I like Mrs. Bennet - I should be the last person to be overly concerned with poor manners and inadequate social skills. She is faced with the entailment, the fact that her husband is not getting any younger, and the fact that her daughters are not getting any younger either. She knows what has to done and, in her clumsy way, she tries to get it done - and, she gets it done, does she not? Can you explain to me why it is that you think her mind "ugly"? If any of this surprises you, wait until you hear my opinion of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Oh, dear, oh dear! I haven't been explaining myself very well. I don't think Mrs Bennet has an ugly mind, I was just passing from the general to the specific in that line, and confusing the issue in the process. What I am trying to say, re beauty, is that human beauty is not synonymous with, or a measure of, human worth, nor is it very often intrinsic to human love - human lust, yes, but not real love and real commitment. I suppose I just mean that if you love JA, then she is automatically beautiful to you - you don't have to want her to be so. I'm harping on this because I feel that our society places an absurd emphasis on appearance, even to the extent of surgery (a form of mutilation) to correct what was perfectly all right in the first place. Along with this goes the cheapening of age and experience - better be dead than look your age! Just one more tiny point, do you remember Emma Woodhouse's conversation with Mr Knightly on this point, when she asserts that Harriet Smith can marry whom she wants, because she is beautiful? Mr Knightly replies that, however much men may admire beauty, they do not want silly wives.
I quite agree with you about Mr Bennet - his behavior is reprehensible, because he finds himself in a situation which is nobody's fault but his own - he admired a beautiful girl, and got a silly wife - entirely his own fault. No point in blaming Mrs Bennet, who always remained the girl he married. The same point is made by George Eliot in Middlemarch, when Dr Lydgate reproaches Rosamund for ruining his happiness -'then why did you marry me?' she rightly asks - in this case, a beautiful girl who became, if not a silly wife, then at least a wife without one single thing in common with her husband. But Mr Bennet is the more blameworthy, because he lays claim to, and would appear to be, intelligent. Even less excuse, then, for his total neglect of his family - the girls were never even educated -'those who chose to be idle, certainly might'. For pity's sake, with no fortune, governessing would be their only option, and Lydia and Catherine, at least, were, one suspects, barely literate.
A jumbuck is a sheep.
I also agree with you about Mrs Bennet, though I can't see the two of us being best friends. She is undoubtedly a silly woman, and an irritating one. I agree with the theory that one cannot parent beyond one's own level of maturity, which means that she would have ceased parenting her own girls by the time they were twelve but, yes, you are right, she did see that marriage was to be pursued at all costs - though in the case of the two eldest, I can't say that I think she was much help - unless by setting Lydia up for the inevitable, and thus enabling Darcy to be magnanimous, etc etc. Her tragedy is that, in the end, I doubt if anyone will love her at all - her children, I mean. The two eldest will find her an embarrassment, Lydia never cared two hoots for her anyway one wonders whether she and Mary may have become close, when it was just the two of them? I hope so.
Just finished night shift, very tired, off to bed. I plan to round up a
billabong or two when I wake up.
My sense is that we have reached an impasse and should drop the debate on beauty until we find a more useful context and language. Besides, I don't disagree with anything you say. Well, except - don't take this the wrong way - it is just that I can't accept that a jumbuck is a sheep. Look at this portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft and at this Goya and don't tell me what you see because that will get us going again.
You know that song, The Twelve Days of Christmas? Is there a special version for Australians?
You mentioned Middlemarch and that means that I can post the best lines I have ever read. These are George Eliot's final words on Dorothea. "Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who have lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs." And let us not forget unvisited web sites! It is a mistake to encourage you to post on other authors; that will give license to a certain segment of our community to start posting again on the you-know-which sisters.
You say you just left the night shift - are you a nurse? Are you religious? It is amazing how often I fall into easy conversation with a woman and then discover that she is a religious, Bronte-loving nurse. You wouldn't think that there were so many people like that on the planet. My male friendships are fairly homogeneous as well; I always gravitate to deeply religious men. At least in that case, there is some variety - Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. I don't get it, I don't have a single spiritual fiber in my entire being. The conversations with women evolve to the point where they scold me about the you-know-whos and on that subject that you and I recently agreed to drop.
I think that Rosamund and Charlotte Lucas had ugly minds. What are your thoughts?
Sorry to take so long in replying, but I've been at work. First, James Woodforde's diaries. JW lived 1740 - 1803, and was a clergyman. He was curate to his father for some years, before taking on the living of Weston Longeville, Norfolk, where he took up residence in 1776. From 1761, for some 16,000 days, he only missed writing his diary when illness prevented him from doing so.
I will describe the James Woodforde reference: The Diary of a Country Parson by the Rev. James Woodforde, Selected by David Hughes, published by the Folio Society, 1992. (There is a James Woodforde Society in England, but I have no contact.)
I here quote from the introduction to my edition ' To read months or years of Woodforde at a sitting is to be overwhelmed after a while by the floods of calm that in those days flowed from time. Behind the words we hear an immense silence....' I have found this work fascinating because of the insight it gives into the details of daily life of the time. Woodforde was a bachelor, which means that he was concerned with domestic detail in a way that a married man would not have been. He is able to show us exactly what it was like to live on 400 pounds a year (not too bad, apparently, if one was single). Although his was not the literary, cultivated family that JA's was, still, to read his diaries is to know what daily life would have been like in an English parsonage of the time - dealing with the poor and the sick the constant flow of the indigent to the door, the tragedy of infant death, and the matter-of-fact way in which it was accepted. He also writes of politics and international affairs of the day, and how they were affecting ordinary people - dining out at a table at which no wheat products at all were served, for instance, at the behest of Mr Pitt, as a protest against the price of grain. Above all, to me it conveys the atmosphere in which JA must have written - the huge silences, and the long, unbroken days when nothing was happening. (This is also commented on in another work, Mrs Gaskell's biography of (sorry) Charlotte Bronte - the loneliness and isolation, where one could hear a clock ticking all over the house). Of course, what was isolation and boredom to one person could be peace and tranquility to another, and I believe the latter was the case for JA.
BUT, if you want to know what washing-day was like, or what happened when the whole country froze, or what it was like to walk home in the snow under moonlight, or just how much it cost to travel from Norfolk to Bath, inns included, read James Woodforde!
Re JA's signing, I am still collecting up my books. The problem is, the
reference may be in a work I read years ago and no longer have. But I will keep
[Later...] Found it, found it, found it! I'm up to my neck in books, and only my little hands are poking out, madly typing this. The book is Park Honan's Life of JA, published by Ballantine books, 1987.
Chapter 2, page 24 - 'George was probably a deaf-mute, and since Mrs Austen had an "imbecile brother" in Mr Thomas Leigh, who was placed at nearby Monk Sherborne "under the care of the Culhams of that parish", George would soon join his uncle. Theophilus Leigh saw George at Steventon in Jane's childhood, when she learned enough finger-language to 'talk' to him. Later when she had "no cannon at hand" to test a Mr Valentine Fitzhugh's deafness at Southampton, she "talked to him a little with my fingers", as she had to George.' Mr Honan's reference is Caroline Austen's MS, 'Family Memorials 1804 - 1874.
There! Aren't I just the clever one!
If you find reading about authors as interesting as reading their works, as I do, try Margaret Lanes biography of - dare I say it - Charlotte Bronte. Far more interesting than her novels, and one of the most heart-wrenching and tragic pieces I know of.
Did you miss me?
Of course I missed you - I am always disappointed when I download my mail and there is nothing from Julie. I very much appreciated and enjoyed your posting and I believe that you are replying to my inquiries of 4/28/98. I hope to engage you on two other matters that would require new postings on the Bulletin Board.
The first matter is a personal question that I have long suffered over: Did Jane Austen have very long hair? I think about that a great deal. It is incontrovertible that it was curly, but was it long? You mention Caroline, Jame's younger daughter, and I believe that it was she who claimed the JA's hair hung down to her waist - I think it was Caroline and maybe the length was to her knees, I can't remember exactly. Look at this water color of Jane painted by Cassandra. Can you detect a pony-tail arrangement over her left shoulder? I can sometimes convince myself of such a thing. I sometimes think I can make out the same sort of thing in this adaptation as well; but not so in this adaptation. I am confident that you will supply definitive answers to these questions.
The second matter is of a different nature because it is important. What is the purchasing power of a Jane Austen pound in modern currency? You may know that I take delight in Emma-Thompson bashing, and the value of a Jane Austen pound is discussed in the last part of that posting of mine. I have seen a wide range of estimates and do not, as yet, have a number in which I can place any great confidence. The highest estimate I can point to is 600 current US dollars per Jane-Austen pound. That would place Woodforde's 400 pounds a year at $240,000 per year. The lowest estimate I have seen is $80 per Jane-Austen pound and, therefore, Woodforde's 400 pounds a year at $32,000 per year. Does either estimate make sense to you? I believe that this is a crucial question and describe my reasons for that in my hammering at ET. Do you have any ideas?
I have been knee-deep in books all day. First, the hair. I cannot find any reference to the length of JA's hair in any of my sources. The nearest is in a letter to Cassandra in which she describes a cap, which is convenient because it allows her to wear her 'short hair' - as you see it in the water color you mentioned - curled 'most conveniently' around her face, while containing her long hair, and saving her time in hairdressing. I don't think I can see a ponytail in any of my copies of that watercolor, and I doubt that there would be one visible, because I believe at that time adult women wore their hair up in public. I was trying to find a quotation that I remember from a 19th century novelist, in which he describes a memorable experience as being akin to seeing his wife with her hair down for the first time. I have another painting by Cassandra, done about 1802, of JA 'sitting down out of doors on a hot day, with her bonnet strings untied'. This painting is done from the back, which is a shame, but all hair is firmly under the bonnet. I do remember how upset she was when her niece Fanny Knight had her hair cut off. She refers to 'that sad cropt head' in a letter to Cassandra. That's all the hair stuff I could find.
[Later] Found what you wanted at last. Park Honan's Life, page 351, quoting niece Louisa Knight: 'She had large dark eyes and a brilliant complexion, and long, long black hair down to her knees'. His reference is the 1980 annual report of the Jane Austen Society, p.26. Louisa was born in 1804, and used to visit at Chawton. Ta - da!!!!!
Re money: Life is so very different today, I wonder if we can draw a rigid comparison between what it would buy then and now, but I have dug up a few bits for you. In NA, Henry Tilney refers to paying 5 shillings a yard for Indian muslin, and Mrs Allan replies that she paid 9 shillings per yard for the material in the dress she is wearing. In James Woodforde's diary of 1783, he bought 6 yards of fabric for 9 pence a yard from a traveler. In the same year, 6 sole, 2 crabs, 1 lobster plus a small arrears, cost him 8/4 at the fishmonger. He could buy a pair of scissors for 1/6, and 2lb pins for 4/8. Perhaps more significantly, on a little over 400 pounds p.a., he could keep himself, two maids, two menservants, one outdoors boy and three horses. The maids were paid 3.10.0 and 5.5.0 p.a., and had to supply their own tea and sugar. The men were paid four guineas each, the boy 10/6, and the horses worked for nothing. James Woodforde, of course, had to pay for all their food, heating costs, etc. I do not know whether his fabric purchase mentioned above, which was for the maids' dresses, was a gift or a loan.
In 1793 JW and his niece Nancy traveled from June 23 to October 23, from Weston to London, Bath, Cole, Frome (in Somerset), and back again via Bath, Oxford and home again to Weston. Total expenses for travelling and accommodation amounted to 78.19.7.
What a heap of trivia! But it gives some idea of what bought what. JW does complain that a quart of port which cost 1/6 in 1774, cost 3/- in 1798, but that could have been because of import difficulties due to war, I suppose.
Umm - what is a pence? How much is that in real money? What is muslin? JULIE! try to remember with whom you are corresponding. Well - actually, I am familiar enough with JA's novels to know that muslin is a fine fabric; however, I am confident that the words "shilling" and "pence" don't mean anything at all. You will do a great service to the rest of our community if you give us a short lesson on reading English money amounts. When you say "3.10.0", is that in the format of "pounds.shillings.pence"? And what is the meaning of monetary numbers like "8/4", "1/6", and "4/8"? What is that "quid" thing all about? (While you are at it, explain why there are 3 feet in a yard, 1760 yards to the mile, and why we must never make eye contact with the Queen.)
Your posting is extremely interesting and valuable. It is also the perfect posting in the sense that it leaves much that is unanswered. JW spent nearly as much on that four month trip with his niece as he paid to all his dependents in four years. A man-servant earned 1/100 of his own annual salary. Was JW a "vicar"? Were all "livings" that of a vicar? Where did his salary come from? I mean, did the church send him the money or did the principle landowners? I have an impression that the money might be the rents from tenants farming on church lands. In that case, JA's dad and brothers would have lived a bit like landed gentlemen.
Notice that the Dashwood women of Sense and Sensibility had an even greater income than did Woodforde. That means that Emma Thompson didn't know what she was writing about or deliberately exaggerated the poverty of the women in her silly screenplay. Neither explanation is to her credit - on the contrary. This is an example of the reason that I think we should strive to understand the meaning of money amounts in JA's novels and in her real life accounts. We cannot hope to truly illuminate and preserve Jane Austen's vision without that sort of effort. You are quite correct when you suggested that this would be a very difficult thing to do: The only meaningful way is to compare the cost of a basket of the necessities-of-life from her era with ours. The problem is that our basket contains a Pentium II processor and hers would have contained a bale of hay. Still, I am convinced that we should strive to make the comparison.
You know that I love Jane Austen - I love the kind of woman she was. I want her to be attractive and so I want her to have worn long hair. But I can't believe that that any person with curly hair would want to wear it so very long. However, take one last look at Cassandra's watercolor: Can't you detect a ponytail? I don't mean an uncovered ponytail, I mean one that is wrapped in the fabric of her cap?
George Washington has a lot to answer for. First, the bit I know, so that I can appear clever for a bit longer. There were twelve pennies (or "pence") in a shilling, twenty shillings in a pound, and twenty-one shillings in a guinea. 3.10.6 = three pounds, ten shillings and six pence, or sixpence. A quid is a pound. It is also a dirty, disgusting, chewed bit of tobacco, but I don't suppose that is what you meant? When Australia converted to decimal currency in 1966, one dollar equaled ten shillings - that gives a bit of a yardstick.
A "crown" is a coin worth five shillings and, of course, there is the "half crown".
As to the use of fractions: 8/4 = eight shillings and four pence. 3/6 = three shillings and sixpence. I also forgot to include halfpennies (pronounced ha'pennies), two of which equalled one penny, and farthings, which were four to a penny. 8/4/6 = 8.4.6. = eight pounds, four shillings and sixpence. I can remember as a child at school, having to do sums like 8.4.6 - 2.3.2. = ? or 3.4.7 + 7.1.1. equals what? Thank God for the decimal system - though it wasn't that hard, really. The quirky thing was that there were twelve pennies to the shilling, twenty shillings to the pound etc, though there was inconsistency in the groupings of denominations, if you get my drift. And then, of course, those bloody guineas - 8.4.3 + seven guineas = ? I leave it with you.
Re clergymen - I wish I were a better scholar, but I'm afraid I don't know as much as I should about the source of a clergyman's income. BUT, I did manage to find an informative letter in a biography of - oh, God, no, not again - the Brontes. It is a letter by Patrick Bronte written in 1823, and runs thus: "This living (Haworth) is what is here called a benefice, or Perpetual Curacy. It is mine for life, no-one can take it from me. The only difference between it and a Vicarage is that in a Vicarage the salary arises from tithes, and in the Living I have it arises from the rent of freehold estates, which I like much better. My salary is not large, it is only about two hundred a year, but in addition I have a good house, which is mine for life, and is rent-free. " (The Brontes, Juliet Barker, Phoenix Paperbacks, 1995)
In 1783, December 2, James Woodforde made the following entry in his diary: " Total received this day for Tithe 286.15.0 This being my Tithe Audit Day, we had this year a very agreeable meeting here, and were very agreeable - no grumbling whatever." This is short of the 400.0.0 Woodforde was supposed to receive as income annually, but he did have also some small landed property. He also makes mention elsewhere of paying for repairs to the Chancel, so perhaps he was in some measure responsible for Church upkeep. I shall hunt further at the library tomorrow.
Re the hair - it's a little like asking the length of a piece of string - JA may have had regular haircuts - her hair length could have varied with the years. Personally, I would find her just as attractive if she had crossed eyes and a hump. But my private view is, that she was beautiful, but not conventionally or fashionably so. I feel her beauty was so closely intertwined with her wit and intelligence, it would be impossible to separate its physical and its intellectual elements.
I'm not a lot of use with adaptations either, I'm afraid, as my interest is in what JA wrote, and not others' interpretations of her work. The 'pictures' of the novels are so ingrained in my head, that others' interpretations can only be disappointing.
But I DO like biography!
Ask me another!
Your latest posting is wonderful - a classic. Thank you so much for the information, especially that about the clergy. This bulletin board is designed for people like yourself who can contribute so much that is of interest to the rest of us.
I mean, you even understand that George Washington had all the answers!
So, there are twelve pennies in a shilling and twenty-one shillings in a guinea. Well - at least that part makes sense. Oh - I should tell you that I was asking about the tobacco.
I am familiar with only the biographies listed on the references page. I notice that you tend to reference Park Honan - can you make some comparisons in that regard?
I would dearly love to focus your energy and expertise on a project that I have been thinking about for some time. You may have noticed that students frequently post asking for help and information on school projects dealing with Jane Austen. I believe that our community should respond to this need in a comprehensive way. I would like to establish a "student resources" web page at this web site. We are obligated to make the page as acceptable to instructors as to the students; I mean we must not be too helpful. Would you be willing to supply the biographical portion of such a page? If you will agree, I will beg Elizabeth M to take on the literary-criticism portion. Madame Board-Meister is the most literate person I know and, so, I will do some begging there as well. You would all be co-authors, of course, and I would be the editor - so that I might find some way to take most of the credit - of course. I am making this suggestion "in the clear" in the event that others might wish to participate.
Finally, thank you for reminding me to not separate a woman's physical beauty from her character and, especially, not to admire feminine beauty so. Many voices are giving me that message and I don't know why I find it a nearly impossible concept. Of course, Jane Austen herself is no help to me in this regard. I mean she gave Elizabeth Bennet "fine eyes" - not at all crossed - and she left off the hump as well. JA made even Fanny Price beautiful. I mean this was a great gift that she bestowed on all her heroines and - well - I just wish I could bestow it on her. In your posting of 5/5/98, you wrote "I was trying to find a quotation that I remember from a 19th century novelist, in which he describes a memorable experience as being akin to seeing his wife with her hair down for the first time." Every man that reads your posting will understand what that writer was getting at; unless, of course, all those voices I mentioned have trained him to think in another way.
Park Honan is the colonial referred to above. He is professor of English and American Lit. at the University of Leeds. He published his Life of JA in 1987 - publishers Fawcett Columbine - and I really do highly recommend it. His sources are excellent. My other favourite reference is JA's Letters edited by Deidre Le Faye, Oxford University Press, 1995. I do have others, and I am particularly fond of Mrs Jenkins' Life of JA. JA and her Sailor Brothers is another beauty, but I do not own it, and I can't remember the author.
I would be most happy to have a go at anything that might be useful to students of JA - one of my permanent gripes about education in this country is that they place less and less emphasis on English literature in syllabuses. I don't care if it is hard to read, I believe the discipline involved is good, and the benefits gained are likely to stay with a student for life. Down with TV, I say!
I am doing a research paper for a class and I need literary criticisms on the book Persuasion.
Obviously, Persuasion is big this term. I recently made a reply to a similar request; so, check there for some suggestions. Of course, you ask for something a little different, "literary criticism", so your needs are a bit more focused. However, I still suggest that you peruse at the Great Books Index for Jane Austen and at the Republic Of Pemberley, especially at this site. Also, there are a number of starting points in my Polar Bear posting. That page contains only a short excerpt from a critique by C.S. Lewis, but he does have something to say about Persuasion in the full version. Link to the critique by E.M. Forster and obtain the reference to his book devoted to literary criticism. (I don't own a copy, so I can't remember, for sure, if he does refer to Persuasion; however, he says so much about Jane Austen that he probably does do so.) The biography by Claire Tomalin does contain references to literary criticisms in the bibliography. I recommend Ms. Tomalin and expect that her references are quite good.
I have a request to make of you: Please return here and post those sources that are the most useful to you in your project. In that way, the Bulletin Board can be a place where successful search is recorded and then passed on to other students.
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