Undergraduate English Courses

358:435 Seminar: Jane Austen and her World

01  MW6   CAC   17687  FESTA   MU-107

Jane Austen and her World

Why are there so many soldiers stationed in the seemingly sleepy provincial towns where the novels of Jane Austen are so often set? Jane Austen may be linked in our minds with a circumscribed world of country towns, flowing dresses and decorous manners, but she lived at a moment of immense historical turmoil, marked by famine, political repression, civil tumult at home, and slavery, revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars abroad. This course will explore the novels of Jane Austen and modern cinematic adaptions of her works, with specific attention to the historical and cultural contexts out of which her writings emerged. Ranging from the scurrilous satiric prints of the period to newspaper reports on the Revolutions in France and in Haiti, from the picturesque paintings of a tranquil British countryside by Gainsborough and his followers to the devastation of war as depicted in the canvases of Goya, we will examine Austen's novels in relation to the seismic historical events that shaped her world.