Publishing Northanger Abbey: Jane Austen and the Writing Profession

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Vernon Press, Mar 2, 2021 - Literary Criticism - 266 pages
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Jane Austen was not born a global icon. It took years for her to break into print. Her first publication came after almost a decade of ups and downs, and her first novel out was not the first she sent to a publisher. Up to a point, lovers of Jane Austen probably know the publication history of Northanger Abbey—written first, published last. Austen wrote and revised the novel early, tried to get it published, then wrote all her other novels and ended up having Northanger Abbey come out with Persuasion, her last finished work.

What we don’t know would fill a book—this book. The objective is to make her early publishing history clear, bringing to light information and original sources not drawn upon before. Beyond her lifetime, clarifying her publishing history also sheds light on an under-regarded novel. The early novel first titled Susan, then Catherine, then Northanger Abbey has sometimes been dismissed by critics, but it was never unimportant to Jane Austen herself.

Publishing “Northanger Abbey”: Jane Austen and the Writing Profession is for all lovers of Jane Austen, in and out of universities, libraries, and fan clubs, including readers now staying home with their favorite novelists during the pandemic.  


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About the author (2021)

Margie Burns, Ph.D., is a Shakespearean by training, overpowered by interdisciplinary interests. A lifelong fan of Jane Austen, she has published articles on Austen in Persuasions, Persuasions On-line, and Notes & Queries, and is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Publications include scholarly and general-interest articles, print and online journalism, and three nonfiction books. She obtained the B.A. and doctoral degrees at Rice University and currently lectures in English part-time at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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