Those Elegant Decorums: The Concept of Propriety in Jane Austen's Novels - Jane Nardin One of these days I'm going to disagree with one of Elizabeth's reviews and write something scathing about her.

This is not one of those days, nor one of those books. I am absolutely in love with this book. It makes me want to re-read all of Austen, and then re-read Nardin's book again.

Usually lit crit makes me think and consider and perhaps ponder. But to make me want to jump up and re-read all of Austen before I do anything else (such as cooking dinner) is unheard of. This book did it, though.

Nardin's take on Austen is (to me at least) fresh and exciting. She's the only writer who has made me seriously reconsider Persuasion, for which I give her high marks.

For a wonderfully complete review of the book, read Elizabeth's. In this case (as in so many others...so far), she's right on.

As an aside, Nardin writes using the generic "he". It results in some stunningly difficult sentences. "...Only if the individual concerned is obeying the rules for the right moral reasons - and not merely, like Lady Middleton, because he wishes to appear well-bred, or from habit." She's writing about Lady Middleton, but uses "he" to refer to "the individual". Sad, really.