On the power of unseen characters.
Of all the unseen characters in literature, one of the most interesting is Mr. Perry, the doctor in Jane Austen’s Emma. Perry, who never actually appears in the novel, is alluded to often, and his wisdom is constantly cited by Emma’s hypochondriacal father. Along with the book’s other background characters, he deepens the world Austen evokes by giving texture to the village of Highbury; he also furthers the plot and allows Austen to get in a little dig at the
Artwork:© Michaël Borremans. Courtesy of Michaël Borremans, David Zwirner and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
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