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ENAM 0400 Jane Austen

Despite her relatively short life, the six major novels written by Jane Austen (1775-1817) have secured her standing as one of the most significant – and best-loved – of English novelists. This course situates her work within wider historical and literary contexts, making reference to the Gothic and epistolary traditions, Romanticism, the French Revolution, and Mary Wollstonecraft’s proto-feminism. It complicates assumptions about Austen’s politics, encouraging students to read her as a subversive and innovative author, and asks questions about her style. In addition to the novels, this course also looks at Austen’s earliest work (unpublished during her lifetime), and her more recent cultural legacies.

Sample Topics:

  • Northanger Abbey
  • Persuasion
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Mansfield Park
  • Emma
  • Sanditon


Introductory Reading:

  • Copeland, E. and J. McMaster, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • Gillie, C., A Preface to Jane Austen. London: Longman, 1985
  • Jones, V., How to Study a Jane Austen Novel. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000
Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College