August 17, 2001
With Sex and Sensibility, Scholars Redefine Jane Austen
A wealth of new scholarship examines the author and her readers
Some of Jill Heydt-Stevenson's fellow Jane Austen scholars were perturbed last year when she ventured that the great English novelist was far more given to "erotically charged allusions, puns, and double entendres" than her prim reputation might lead one to expect.
"Jill's untenured," explains one of those colleagues.
They feared that Ms. Heydt-Stevenson would become the latest target of enraged, self-appointed guardians of Austen-as-exemplar-of-propriety, if not of asexual