By John Sutherland

The intriguing sequel to the tremendously profitable Is Heathcliff A Murderer?, John Sutherland's most up-to-date selection of literary puzzles, Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? turns up unforeseen and brain-teasing features of the variety of canonical British and American fiction represented within the World's Classics record. With daring ingenious hypothesis he investigates thirty-four literary conundrums, starting from Daniel Defoe to Virginia Woolf. masking concerns well past the stern confines of Victorian fiction, Sutherland explores the questions readers frequently ask yet critics not often speak about: Why does Robinson Crusoe locate just one footprint? How does Magwitch swim to shore with a very good iron on his leg? the place does Fanny Hill maintain her contraceptives? Whose facet is Hawkeye on? and the way does Clarissa Dalloway get domestic so fast? As in its universally good bought predecessor, the questions and solutions in Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? are creative and convincing, and go back the reader with new recognize to the nice novels they have a good time.

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A first question is: how did Hawk-eye, a disarmed prisoner of war, get his rifle back? He did not have it when he was returned to the fort. It would have been madness for the French to have allowed the best marksman in North America to retain his longue carabine with which to take pot-shots at them from the fort's battlements. Deerslayer would surely have been snatched by some Indian chief as a trophy. How, then, did Hawk-eye repossess it? This leads on to other questions. How was it that Hawkeye was taken uninjured by the French?

The countenance of Hawk-eye was haggard and care-worn, and his air dejected, as though he felt the deepest degradation at having fallen into the power of his enemies. He was without his favourite weapon, and his arms were even bound behind him with thongs, made of the skin of a deer. (pp. 168-9) Hawk-eye is uninjured. It seems that he was captured on his return journey and that a letter from Webb to Munro was taken from him. Montcalm now has it. It is of the utmost importance that Munro should know what is in the letter.

Fanny resides under Mrs Jones's uncongenial roof for eleven months, at which point she is, as she tells us, 'about three months gone with child'. One deduces that she is pregnant by policy not accident. Over the months Charles has been 'educating* her—expunging her rusticity, making her a lady 'worthier of his heart'. His love, she protests, is of 'unshaken constancy', and he 'sacrificed to me women of greater importance than I dare hint' (p. 53). It is clear that Fanny fondly expects to marry Charles—despite the class difference and the fact that he found her in a London brothel.

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