Giardetti, Melora Books
About the author: Melora Giardetti is Chair and Associate Professor of English at Simpson College in Redding, California. She has taught composition and literature for the last eleven years. Bilingual in English and French, she has studied in Quebec and Avignon. Her interest areas include 18th- and 19th-century British fiction.2003 0-7734-6651-7
This study addresses the rich array of past and current scholarship and explores a new angle: Jane Austen’s idea of personal reform precipitating societal transformation. It presents the ways in which she explores the complex nature of transformation through her inversion of the commonly held definitions of masks, mirrors and mirages – a trio not explored by other scholars and critics. As a subversive conservative, Austen seems most interested in examining the middle space existent in the nature of transformation. This study presents Austen amidst French (rather than English) contemporaries to establish her relationship to national and continental events, and, in exploring how she inverts the definitions of masks, mirrors, and mirages, elucidates her political commentary in a new way.