Henry Crawford as Master Betty: Jane Austen on the “Disabling” of Shakespeare.

Mounsey, Chris (2018) Henry Crawford as Master Betty: Jane Austen on the “Disabling” of Shakespeare. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. ISSN 1911-0243 (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper argues that Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park with its direct quotes from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and its underlying plot reference to King Lear may be read as a crie de coeur from Austen at the poor state of the British Theatre in the early nineteenth century. At the time when Shakespeare’s plays were performed in altered versions to please audiences, known to many only in fragments, and children such as Master William Betty were lionised equally by the same audience for playing Hamlet and sentimental roles in the clap-trap comedy Lovers Vows, Mansfield Park calls for the nation to return to the Complete Works of Shakespeare to rediscover pride in itself, its heroes and heroines and to know Fanny Price as the proper subject for a novel.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: V Historical & philosophical studies > V143 Modern history 1700-1799
Departments: Faculty of Arts > Department of English, Creative Writing and American Studies
Depositing User: Chris Mounsey
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 12:43
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 12:43
URI: http://repository.winchester.ac.uk/id/eprint/796

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