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Milton in the Long Restoration$
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Blair Hoxby and Ann Baynes Coiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769774.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Raphael’s Condescension

Raphael’s Condescension

Paradise Lost, Jane Austen, and the Secular Displacement of Grace

Chapter:
(p.531) 28 Raphael’s Condescension
Source:
Milton in the Long Restoration
Author(s):

Paul Stevens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769774.003.0029

Protestantism’s radical concept of divine grace does not simply disappear with what Weber calls the ‘disenchantment’ of the secular age; it transmutes itself into other complex and powerful cultural defences against fatality, the contingent and unpredictable. Ideas have a habit of migrating in unexpected ways and in this chapter tries to outline one of those migrations: that is, the displacement of grace from religion into class through the reception of Milton in Jane Austen. The focus of the chapter is, then, the way the literature of the Restoration lives on in the inter-textual relationship between Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Paradise Lost (1674), especially as that relationship is mediated through one of Austen’s favourite novels, Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison (1754). Most importantly, the story the chapter tells is not so much one of disenchantment as one of re-enchantment or the aestheticization of class.

Keywords:   condescension, Paradise Lost, Pride and Prejudice, Grandison, grace, religion and class, enchantment, Milton and Austen, Samuel Richardson

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