This chapter is part of a book-length project of six chapters called Social Jane. It sets the political and social context of Jane Austen's novels, and argues for her sociology in two directions. First, it takes trouble to set the social and historical context for her work. Second, it pays attention to her sociological analysis of social forms, and in particular, her brilliant exposé of the intricacies of social hierarchy. Finally, it resolves the question of Austen's own position in the social hierarchy.
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