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Jane Austen and the Political Novel

ENGL 553.601
instructor(s):
W 4:30-7:10

Jane Austen's novels do not simply cultivate a small and self-enclosed world, although that is a view still frequently held about them, both by those who regard it, negatively, as indicative of her limitations and by those who, more positively, find her works a refuge from the complexities of larger social concerns. We will read all six of Austen's completed novels--Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion--and we will also look at about the same number of earlier or generally contemporary 18th and early 19th century novels that deal with issues of political or social significance, in order to illuminate the ways in which Austen's novels share a common concern with such issues.