Is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice better characterised as a Romantic or Victorian novel?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In many ways, it would be better not to characterise Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as either Romantic or Victorian, because Austen's sensibility appears closer to that of the Augustans of the 18th century. Like Pope and Dryden, her strongest work is satiric, and she praises good sense and moderation and satirizes excess. Stylistically she admires and imitates Addison and Steele, and like other Augustan writers is interested in refinement of the sensibility and emotions to fit a model of an ideal gentlewoman/gentleman. The novelist closest to Austen in manner would be the Victorian Anthony Trollope, a Victorian, especially in his Barsetshire novels, which has a similarly balanced and subtle narrative voice.


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