Asked by: bellenomdeplume
The big list of must reads:
-Jane Austen: Women, Politics and the Novel – Claudia L. Johnson (mentioning again to emphasize its importance) :)
-Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s – Claudia L. Johnson (anything by her basically, cuz she’s my academic crush)
-Austen’s Unbecoming Conjunctions: Subversive Laughter, Embodied History – Jill Heydt Stevenson
-Madwoman in the Attic – Gilbert and Gubar (some ideas are dated, but still a must read)
-Cambridge Companions to Jane Austen (there are two now, one just came out 1-2 years ago)
-Jane Austen and Feminism – by lots
-Jane Austen and the Body – John Wiltshire
-Jane Austen and Theatre – Penny Gay
-Jane Austen and Edward Said: Gender, Culture and Imperialism – by Susan Fraiman (brilliant response to Said’s original essay, which you should also read)
-Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl - Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
I would say read the chapters on Pride and Prejudice in all of the above (if they have them). Start with Claudia L. Johnson always because she will give you a great base.
JASNA.org has essays you can read for free! They’re from their literary journal, Persuasions.
This is an old article on the ‘picturesque’ in Pride and Prejudice, but if you look for them, there are more recent articles on it: http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/printed/number1/litz.htm
There’s a section on ‘Class’ in (I believe?) the first edition of the Cambridge Companion.
For the latest in Jane Austen criticism, I think the Persuasions lit mag is a good way to start. Look at the most recent publications and see if anything interests you! Look at the people who edit it and google their work.
I hope this has been of some help! If you want me to be more specific or help looking for topics, let me know!
ETA: A new-ish thing is scholars classifying works as Romantic fiction. Austen falls into this category. Some people don’t know what to do with her (is she an englightment author? is she victorian? blah blah blah no no no). So a cool thing for you to do would be to read about Romantic fiction criticism and see if Pride and Prejudice falls into this category.
Recognizing the Romantic Novel: New Histories of British Fiction, 1780-1830 by Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman