The Custom of the Country

The introduction to Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel The Custom of the Country, which I edited for Broadview Press (2008), talks about the influence of Jane Austen characters Emma Woodhouse, Mary Crawford, and Lady Susan Vernon on Wharton’s restless, ambitious heroine Undine Spragg, who, even when she has everything she wants, thinks there might be “other things she might want if she knew about them.” Find a local independent bookseller here. Order from Broadview.

Jane Austen's Philosophy of the Virtues

My book Jane Austen’s Philosophy of the Virtues (Palgrave, 2005) analyzes Austen’s engagement with the seven classical and theological virtues, exploring the dramatic moments in the novels when the virtues come into conflict not just with vices, but with other virtues. Find a local independent bookseller here.

Jane Austen and the North Atlantic

In Jane Austen and the North Atlantic, a collection of essays I edited for the Jane Austen Society (2006), my own essay discusses the responses of Edith Wharton and other writers to Austen’s happy endings. You can order the book from the Jane Austen Society.

St. Paul's in the Grand Parade

My history of St. Paul’s in the Grand Parade (Formac, 1999) was published on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and of Halifax’s first church, now the oldest Protestant church in Canada. Find a local independent bookseller here.

6 thoughts on “Books”

  1. Wonderful connections of Jane Austen and Edith Wharton, two of my favorite authors. Thanks!


  2. Your blog… For me it is something created with passion and impressive knowledge… I’m writing form far Poland, Europe. I came across your website while I was checking the things on my blog (I only started three months ago so it’s a really little thing, but keep trying, although it’s hard to reconcile my work with other stuff : ) Anyway, I’m really impressed. You write so great and the form of the blog is also very interesting.
    Probably I wouldn’t have looked at your website (as I’m so busy at the moment) if not your surname. Well…I know one lady form UK whose family name is the same. We met a while ago and still stay in touch, writing traditional letters.. : ) So I just said to myself… it means something.. I should check this blog : ) At the moment I’m learning English language. I’m doing it at home. I’m trying and it’s hard sometimes… Recently I’ve realized that I need to find a website which will enable me to become more acquainted with English literature.. Something nice and… absorbing. Well, here it is! : )I’m sure your blog with help me with developing my English : ) But there is also Something that told me to check your website. Your blog is devoted to Jane’s Austin works. A few years ago when I studied in Moscow for a while I bought two books by Jane Austin. I chose them as something to practice Russian (the books are translated into Russian:) Reading them it was a really nice adventure… I still have them. This literature is very popular also in this part of the world. If you would like to I could send you the pictures of these books (the titles and the name in Russian). Maybe it would be an exotic addition to your great website. ; ) All the best.


    • Thanks very much for visiting; I’m glad you’re enjoying reading the blog. How interesting that you practised reading Russian by reading Jane Austen. Which two novels did you choose? I know a number of people who’ve practised English as a second language by reading Austen’s novels. I think they were drawn to the clarity of her style.


  3. And please forgive me my mistakes : ) I probably even don’t realise how many I’ve made : )


    • You should hear me try to speak Russian (something I studied for a year, many years ago) — or Polish, which I’ve never studied. One of the things I love about Jane Austen’s novels is that she shows us how we can learn by practising. I wrote about this idea in my book on Jane Austen’s Philosophy of the Virtues, and I think what she says about education fits with this advice from Aristotle: “the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”


  4. Did Jane and her heroines wear such dresses? It’s one my favourite songs in Russian… It always takes me into another dimension…languor, love, secrets…
    I hope you’ll like it : )