Reading in Jane Austen’s novels


  • Martha Brito Arsego


Jane Austen. Reading. Judgment.


Reading, literary references and bookish characters receive vast representation in Jane Austen’s novels. This depiction goes beyond the act of reading itself, it offers clues about the characters and the way they relate the universe of what they read with their experiences in the world. It also discusses the different aspects of the representation of reading in Jane Austen’s novels, including a character’s habits and preferences in reading as a reflection of personality and a determining factor in their judgment of others. Furthermore, the study discusses the views of reading in Austen’s time and their representation in her novels. The novels used to exemplify this analysis were Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and the unfinished Sanditon. The conclusions reached with the study of Austen’s work shows a conscious usage of reading as an indicator of discernment, as a revealing aspect of the characters’ personalities and as a comparison between their readings of books opposed to their reading of people and of the world.




Como Citar

Arsego, M. B. (2009). Reading in Jane Austen’s novels. Revista Da Graduação, 2(2). Recuperado de



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