Faculty of Arts


Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ENGLISH 731.


While both Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë stand among the best-known and canonical English novelists, their work differs as greatly as the Georgian and Victorian eras in which each wrote. 

Brontë famously critiqued Austen’s style, meanly comparing her stories to walled, small, claustrophobic gardens and declaring a preference for more open and natural spaces. 

In spite of Brontë’s insistence upon difference, however, these two writers also have a lot in common. This course examines a selection of their works and considers how they responded to the literary and social environment of their time (from their juvenilia onwards). The course will pay attention to the reception history of their lives and works, from the nineteenth century to the present, such as the development of their reputations in academic and popular accounts, and screen adaptations of their fiction in the Hollywood-led resurgence of interest in both authors.

Another important context is critical interest since the 1970s in the constraints affecting nineteenth-century women’s writing.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Professor Joanne Wilkes


Jane Austen: Love and Freindship, and Other Youthful Writings, ed. Christine Alexander (Penguin)

Mansfield Park, ed. Jane Stabler

Persuasion, ed. Deidre Shauna Lynch

Pride and Prejudice, ed. Fiona Stafford (last three all Oxford World's Classics)

The Brontës,  Tales of Glass Town, Angria and Gondal: Selected Early Writings, ed. Christine Alexander

Charlotte Brontë:  The Professor, ed. Margaret Smith

Shirley, ed. Margaret Smith

Villette, ed. Margaret Smith  (all World's Classics)

You can use other editions of the set texts if you own them.


ENGLISH 731: 30.0 points



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