How would one describe Jane Austen as a novelist?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a novelist, Jane Austen's works are highly praised. Her plots and structure are impeccable and her characterizations have received very high praise. Anonymous reviewers publishing in the British Critic and the Critical Review applauded the novel Pride and Prejudice for its fluidity and readability. Both reviewers also praised her characterizations as being spirited, "remarkably well drawn and supported" (Pride and Prejudice: Critical Overview,

Her works have even differed from the traditional British Romantic literature in that it is not in the least bit dark. Other Romantic authors stressed dark emotions, such as horror, terror, and awe. Charlotte Bronte is one known critic of Austen arguing that her works lack passion and substance (Reader Response to Austen's Novels). But this is no surprise when we consider how dark Bronte's own works are.

Austen's novels are also full of morals and philosophy. Lord David Cecil refers to her work as "a profound vision," further stating that her morals and philosophies concerning personal relationships get "to the heart of the matter" (Reader Response to Austen's Novels).