Jane Austen (1775-1817) wrote a five novels (not counting her unpublished fiction) that rate among the most powerful produced in Great Britain during the nineteenth century. These works still astonish readers with their sensitivity to hidden or nameless emotions, to the subtleties of conversation, and to the complexities of domestic life. The unfolding of many of these stories retains even today its power to perplex and amaze. Two long novels form the cornerstone of the course: Mansfield Park and Emma, which together virtually reinvented the art of fiction in English. These two books will be studied along with a good deal of interpretation and criticism, and students will write frequent essays about them.
Corequisites: Students are strongly encouraged to attend Literature evenings on Wednesdays.