By John Sutherland

The fascinating sequel to the tremendously winning Is Heathcliff A Murderer?, John Sutherland's most recent selection of literary puzzles, Can Jane Eyre be at liberty? turns up unforeseen and brain-teasing elements of the variety of canonical British and American fiction represented within the World's Classics record. With daring ingenious hypothesis he investigates thirty-four literary conundrums, starting from Daniel Defoe to Virginia Woolf. overlaying concerns way past the stern confines of Victorian fiction, Sutherland explores the questions readers frequently ask yet critics hardly ever talk about: Why does Robinson Crusoe locate just one footprint? How does Magwitch swim to shore with an excellent iron on his leg? the place does Fanny Hill retain her contraceptives? Whose aspect is Hawkeye on? and the way does Clarissa Dalloway get domestic so quick? As in its universally good obtained predecessor, the questions and solutions in Can Jane Eyre be at liberty? are inventive and convincing, and go back the reader with new recognize to the good novels they have fun.

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Additional resources for Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?: More Puzzles in Classic Fiction (Oxford World's Classics)

Sample text

In volume III, chapter 6, during the planning for the picnic, a relentlessly talkative Mrs Elton—whose proposals are becoming more and more impractical— declares: 'I wish we had a donkey. The thing would be for us all to come on donkies, Jane, Miss Bates, and me— and my caro sposo walking by (p. 331)' (the 1816 text has 'caro sposo'). Now it seems she can get it right. Why then did she butcher the phrase two different ways a few weeks earlier? 2 But if that were the case, Mrs Elton would surely have avoided 'caro sposo' altogether in these latter days, embarrassed at the awful gaffes she had made earlier.

But is it, in fact, a slip? The passage in question is found on page 83 of the World's Classics edition. At last the hero, Tristram, is about to be born. It has been a long wait for would-be readers of his life and opinions. A commotion has been heard upstairs, where a very pregnant Mrs Shandy is confined with women attendants. Downstairs, Uncle Toby and Mr Shandy anxiously wait on natal events. On hearing the tell-tale noises and bustle above their heads, Uncle Toby has summoned the servant Obadiah by ringing the bell.

She is unconscious, as we reckon, for a few hours at most. During this real time (shown in black and white) Dorothy has a vivid and lengthy Technicolor dream. She and her dream companions make a long journey to the land of Oz which takes several weeks, as we reckon. The film itself lasts an hour and a half in the watching. So when Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow skip up the yellow-brick road, how long does it take? In Dorothy's unconscious mind, it can occupy only a microsecond or two.

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