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Saturday April 04
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
"Austen Inc.: Female Readers and Writers in Northanger Abbey" with James Horowitz (Literature). Early in Northanger Abbey, the novel she was revising at the time of her death in 1817, Jane Austen makes a remarkable but not implausible claim: that books by women had afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world. As Austen knew, it was only over the preceding century that British women had begun to publish en masse, reshaping the cultural landscape as poets, playwrights, historians, political commentators, and, perhaps most influentially, novelists. Our seminar in Boston, adapted from my courses at Sarah Lawrence on eighteenth-century female authorship, will focus on Northanger Abbey itself, an under-appreciated item in Austen's canon. There Austen reflects with her characteristic subtlety and incisive wit on the place of women in the literary marketplace: as writers, as readers, and as social subjects conditioned by the conventions of mass-market fiction, including Gothic novels.
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Event registration summary
Faculty on the Road in Boston with James Horowitz: