Term of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Tom Lloyd

Committee Member 1

Dustin Anderson

Committee Member 2

Joe Pellegrino

Abstract

This work examines the development of Austen's characterization of the clergy. It uses examples of three prominent clerical types: Henry Tilney, too good to be true ; William Collins, too ridiculous to be believable ; and Edmund Bertram, realistic because he is both flawed and virtuous. Utilizing critical sources from the last sixty years, this thesis demonstrates that previous scholars have overlooked the idea that the development of Austen's clerical characters can be used to chart Austen's progress as a writer. As such, this thesis fills in where other scholars have left off.

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