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It is reasonable to suggest, therefore, that her texts offer a highly political elucidation of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century social, economic and international relations. At a time when women, across the political spectrum, were campaigning for an end to the institution of slavery, Austen not only refers to the slave trade a number of times, she also builds its social relations into her work, arching its contextual momentum to textual characterization: and the marketization of humans as commodities of exchange-value is never challenged.

It answers my idea of a fine country because it unites beauty with utility . ’59 This is very evocative language, which suggests an unrestricted union between pleasure and nature. 60 The Englishness of the English landscape owes much to the fruit of trade and colonial expansion, having been thoroughly fashioned by importation and horticultural design. 62 They are not, therefore, a natural component of English forestry. Allusions to their naturalness are ultimately, therefore, part of an illusion; it is myth making.

Clearly, these modes of governmental control circumscribed how folk lived, and how they should live. 73 While such a technique of treatment undoubtedly also ensured that there was always a potential body of men, women and children as a source of very cheap labour, it was, moreover, a de facto casting out from the body politic of Irish navvies, allegedly nefarious Jews and deserted or runaway West Indian black slaves. George’s conclusion is hard to resist. 74 The racialized gloss of her commentary is arresting.

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