Jane Austen's Guide for Prospective Brides

Ref: C2224605

Jane Austen lived a quiet and withdrawn life and yet wrote 6 of the most loved novels in English. It has been said that her novels cover a very limited canvas of the narrow world and section of society she knew well. But this author had plenty to say about the constraints of custom and convention facing young women and the social and religious demands of the late Georgian period. Neither was she as blind as it has been claimed to topical events facing society such as slavery, the war ,the church and the theatre, In the course we will examine these issues and consider her rational approach to courtship and marriage, even if she was too sensitive to take her own advice!

Course aim

Aiming to understand Jane Austen, her life and times through the study of the author and her novels

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • It would be a great advantage if the students had read any of Jane Austen's novels and/or seen any dramatization of her works. But this is not essential as I hope to be able to explain the gist of each novel as we proceed.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss aspects of Jane Austen's life
  • Explain the idea of courtship and marriage at this time and as are reflected in her novels
  • Identify Jane Austen's own opinions of marriage
  • Compare and contract the social issues at the time and how they are reflected in her novels
  • Evaluate Jane Austen's opinions of the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution and other international topics

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Discussion and reading sections of novels too

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It is not essential but reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen would be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Visit Bath or Jane Austen's home at Chawton in Hampshire

Download full Course information sheet

Jane Austen's Guide for Prospective Brides


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  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
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