|Dr. Jocelyn Harris is emerita professor of the University of
Otago, New Zealand, and Honorary Consul for France in Dunedin. According to
Professor Harris herself, "Tears dropped on a manuscript letter, making the ink run, inspired me to begin a lifetime of research on Samuel Richardson, then on Jane Austen, his most acute as well as his most appreciative reader." In 1972 Professor Harris published her edition of Sir Charles Grandison (OUP, repr. University of
Otago), while in 1989, she showed how Austen critiques, appropriates, and recreates Richardson, Locke, Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, and many others, in Jane Austen's Art of Memory (CUP, repr. 2004).
The University of Delaware Press has just published her latest book, A Revolution Almost Beyond Expression: Jane Austen's Persuasion.
In her plenary talk at the Vancouver AGM, entitled "Jane Austen,
Jane Fairfax, and Jane Eyre," Dr. Harris asserts that Brontė's famous
attack on Jane Austen is a manoeuvre typical of writers who try to prove their own originality by disdain of their powerful
predecessors. She goes on to consider "How Romantic is Emma? And what
if Brontė drew on aspects of Emma for Jane Eyre's
ideas, names, and characters?" This is going to be a most interesting
Photo by Reg Graham