Sense and Sensitivity
Jane Austen wrote as a Christian, but all the better for doing so unobtrusively.
UK summer time

More like this

Jane Austen (15) Extracts from Literature (89)

Sense and Sensitivity

From a review in the ‘Quarterly Review’, Volume XXIV, No. LXVIII (January 1821), by Richard Whately.

Jane Austen’s novels are not fluffy romances, but profound modern fables, leaving the reader amused but also thinking about serious subjects. Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, was one of the first reviewers to recognise what Jane was hoping to achieve, and appreciate her way of achieving it.

MISS Austin has the merit (in our judgment most essential) of being evidently a Christian writer: a merit which is much enhanced, both on the score of good taste, and of practical utility, by her religion being not at all obtrusive.

She might defy the most fastidious critic to call any of her novels, (as Coelebs was designated, we will not say altogether without reason,) a ‘dramatic sermon.’* The subject is rather alluded to, and that incidentally, than studiously brought forward and dwelt upon.

For when the purpose of inculcating a religious principle is made too palpably prominent, many readers, if they do not throw aside the book with disgust, are apt to fortify themselves with that respectful kind of apathy with which they undergo a regular sermon, and prepare themselves as they do to swallow a dose of medicine, endeavouring to get it down in large gulps, without tasting it more than is necessary.

* ‘Coelebs in Search of a Wife’ is a novel by Hannah More (1745-1833) published in 1809, and followed by ‘Coelebs Married’ five years later. Hannah More was a successful novelist and playwright (Mozart possessed a copy of her play ‘Percy’), a philanthropist, and a vocal anti-slavery campaigner.

From a review in the ‘Quarterly Review’, Volume XXIV, No. LXVIII (January 1821), by Richard Whately.

More like this

Jane Austen (15) Extracts from Literature (89)

Grammar & Composition

Based on school textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Picture: © Rob Farrow, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
The Church of St Nicholas in Chawton, Hampshire, was the parish church for Jane Austen after the death of her father in 1805, though the building she knew was destroyed by fire in 1871. Her mother and sister, both named Cassandra, are buried in the churchyard; Jane herself lies in Winchester Cathedral.
Previous / Next
By Jane Austen
By Ann Radcliffe

amazon books

featured music

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

New Stories
JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.