Friday essay: the revolutionary vision of Jane Austen

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


It started with a throwaway line in a conversation with an Adelaide musical entrepreneur. We were planning a day of Jane Austen-related activities, and I suggested that we could use courtship as a theme for the music program. “After all,” I said, without really thinking, “they are courtship novels”. The contrarian imp who lives on my left shoulder immediately piped up, “Are you sure?”

So I went on to study each of Austen’s six novels with that thought in mind. I concluded that none of them have courtship - that is, the assiduous attention of the hero to gaining the heroine’s hand - as a central and animating theme.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Conversation Media Group
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

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  • Jane Austen
  • bicentenary
  • novels
  • courtship narratives
  • satire


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