Styles of Communication, Vol 1, No 1 (2009)

At Home with Jane Austen: Imagining the Colonial Connection in Mansfield Park

Blanka Grzegorczyk


This article examines Jane Austen's Mansfield Park in the context of the complex relationship between imaginative literature and the experience of empire. Specifically, it argues that the way Austen's novel plays with the imperial experience is more ambivalent than many critics have indicated. It suggests that underlying the imaginative conceptualization of the relations between metropole and colony are certain evasions and contradictions in which the novel consciously abounds. A close reading of the novel demonstrates how issues related to metropole and colony may be articulated within the literary mainstream, and why such narrative articulation is important.


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