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Introduction: Jane and Will, the Love Story

  • Marina Cano
  • Rosa García-Periago
Chapter

Abstract

Today William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are found everywhere: from fridge magnets and plastic dolls to university syllabi and academic papers. The present chapter explores the recurrent association in processes of reading, re-reading and re-invention that has made Austen and Shakespeare two staples of British literature. We begin by surveying how understandings of the connection between Austen and Shakespeare have evolved throughout history, how fragmentation and deformation of the authors’ works have contributed to their success and how, culturally, the two authors have come to collaborate with each other. We then outline the new contributions that each chapter makes, and conclude by pointing to the possible futures of what we have called the long-standing “love affair” between William Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

This chapter explores this type recurrent association in processes of reading and re-invention that has made of Austen and Shakespeare two staples of British literature. The study of these dynamics is the subject of our introduction, and of our whole collection. The introduction outlines the new contributions that each chapter makes. We interrogate why certain works by Shakespeare and Austen have drawn more scholarly attention than others in our collection, and why Austen scholars seem keener to study the connections between Austen and Shakespeare than do Shakespeare scholars. We also address the potential implications of these circumstances.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Cano
    • 1
  • Rosa García-Periago
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.University of MurciaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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