This class explores the novels of Jane Austen, taking into account the world in which they were written, their relation to the history of the novel, and the literary legacy they inspired. We will read all six of Austen's completed novels: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion, as well as her unfinished novel Sanditon, examples from the work of Austen's contemporaries, and selections from her juvenilia. In our discussions we will consider a broad array of themes from a variety of theoretical perspectives, with a particular focus on ideas of gender and empire. At the same time, we will compare our own investments in Austen with Victorian and Modernist responses to Austen's works and style. We will also examine the print culture in which Austens novels appeared, and will read a representative selection of contemporary Austen criticism.