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But the two great characters of Clarissa are the heroine and Lovelace. V. S.
Pritchett has said that Richardson was mad — mad about sex, and I doubt
whether it is possible for the critic who comes to Clarissa after reading Freud to
deny that ...
It records naturally the gradual development of the heroine's mind as she moves
in society, her hesitations, her doubts, her agonies at the social solecisms she
commits, her analysis of her heart when in love. This came from Richardson.
Fanny's discovery of the truth about her parents' household is, then, a step
forward in her knowledge of herself. The attainment of self-knowledge on the part
of the heroine is always part of Miss Austen's theme; indeed, goodness in her
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Remember when literary critics read books and wrote about them? No? Well, I do now. He got a few things wrong - what did these people ever see in H.G. Wells? In Meredith? That they should be put next ... Read full review
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
THE FIRST GENERA
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