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Jane Austen's novels are a solid part of the literary canon and have never been out print. They have been made into many modern movies and are common household names; however, they are largely misunderstood by the general public. On the surface, Austen's novels all involve characters from provincial communities in rural England who seem to be removed from greater social movements, war, industry, colonization, and imperialism. This could not be further from the truth. Jane Austen For Beginners explores Austen's true intention of her novels: to address money, the marriage market, class movement, and a radical upheaval appearing the social fabric of English and British societies.
Robert Dryden is an Associate Professor of English at Hillyer College, part of the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. Dryden received his bachelors from Hampshire College in MA with a concentration in literary criticism and creative writing. He received an M.A. in English from the University of New Orleans, and then received his Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with a concentration in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British literature. He has written numerous scholarly articles about Eighteenth Century British literature and wrote the chapter "Atlantic Journeys: Teaching Crisis and Transition in the Atlantic World" in the anthology entitled Teaching the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century (Cambridge Scholars Press).