PUBLIC TALK: Bite-Sized Austen: New interpretations in doctoral research
|Bite-Sized Austen: New interpretations in doctoral research
Parody and Prejudice: Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey' and the Literary Gothic Tradition by Colin Yeo, Doctoral student, English and Cultural Studies, The University of Western Australia.
The late eighteenth century saw a proliferation of popular women writers of Gothic fiction. In the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, it is worthwhile meditating on 'Northanger Abbey', a parody of Gothic fiction that is arguably one of Austen's 'lesser known' works. Austen's contribution to the Gothic as a textual mode that is self-aware cannot be understated.
This presentation aims to reflect on Austen's parody of established tropes and conventions of the Gothic. It also aims to situate 'Northanger Abbey' within its historical context as an important part of the Female Gothic tradition that emerged in the late eighteenth century.
The Tale of the Two Janes by Dr Peta Beasley, English and Cultural Studies, The University of Western Australia.
Born less than six months apart, both christened Jane, both from the same class, pseudo-gentry, both share a deep friendship and intimacy with their sister, both remain unmarried, both are in Bath at the same time and both novelists. However, to one, Jane Austen, literary history has been kind, the other, Jane Porter, unfortunately now virtually unknown. Ironic, given Jane Porter knew great success during her lifetime, dubbed by twentieth-century critic Robert Tate Irvine, as “the Margaret Mitchell of 1803,” while Jane Austen knew only slow-growing success during her lifetime. Although Porter, and her sister Anna Maria, admired Austen’s work enormously, it is unclear if Austen had reciprocal admiration for Porter’s work. But, there are two interesting intersections, both Porter and Austen had a professional scepticism (jealousy?) for the work of Sir Walter Scott, and both met, and were invited by the Royal Librarian, James Stanier Clark, to dedicate one of their novels to His Highness, the Prince of Wales. This presentation will tell the tale of the how the two Janes responded to the request.
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