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'A Dead Silence': Reading Jane Austen's Mansfield Park pt1
Richard De Ritter from the University of Leeds discusses the different ways of reading Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park' as a modern reader. Paying particular attention to the issue of slavery, which appears in frequent veiled allusions throughout the text that are never fully discussed within the narrative of the novel itself. De Ritter asks several questions including: how do we interpret this silence? Does Austen as a writer have an obligation to discuss slavery? Is Austen's silence indicative of compliance with the slave trade or does it suggest the beginning of a critique?
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