Tag Archives: Jane Austen

Chelsea’s Books and Female Ambition

Chelsea Clinton revealed that she talked to her parents about Madeleine L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time” and watched the mini-series of “Pride and Prejudice” with her mother. Both feature strong heroines but also show these heroines to be confined to traditionally female roles.

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Shakespeare Was Malvolio

Recent research shows how much of a social climber Shakespeare was. The knowledge gives us new insight into characters like Malvolio and Othello.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Marlowe (Christopher), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hillary Clinton as Emma Woodhouse

Hillary Clinton shares certain characteristics with Emma Woodhouse. (And far fewer with Lady Macbeth.)

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Emma” as Aid to Alzheimer’s Caregivers

A luminescent “New York Times” article explains how a woman used Emma to help her deal with her mother’s Alzheimer’s. Literature at such times does some very heavy lifting.

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Lit Is Aristotelian Road to Happiness

Psychologists say that a strong sense of narrative identity can lead to the profound sense of happiness described by Aristotle. Literature helps us make sure we have available to us the best narratives.

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A Cosmic Theory of Literature

My attempt at an overarching theory of literature and its place in human history and human progress.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Rand (Ayn), Shakespeare (William), Sidney (Sir Philip), Terence | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cruz as Beowulf? Try Grendel

Thursday Normally I would be delighted with a New York Times article that matched up presidential candidates with works of literature, such as Ted Cruz with Beowulf, Hillary Clinton with Persuasion, and Bernie Sanders with Around the World in 80 Days. This piece, however, strikes me as so uninformative that it’s all but useless. I’ve tried […]

Posted in Austen (Jane), Beowulf Poet, Dickens (Charles), Hardy (Thomas), Twain (Mark), Verne (Jules) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For a Rich Life, Read Widely and Freely

Literature impacts our lives but the influence is best if we read a wide variety of works. Limiting ourselves to just a few authors can warp us.

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Can Lit Also Be a Force for Evil? A Debate

The classics are capable to doing great good but can they also do harm? Even as they powerfully open up the mind to new possibilities, can they also close it down? A debate.

Posted in Aristotle, Austen (Jane), Plato, Shelley (Percy), Sidney (Sir Philip) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Prescribing Lit for What Ails Us

I had mixed feelings about a recent article in “The New Yorker” on bibliotherapy.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Woolf (Virginia) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

10 Memorable Poetic Pick-Up Lines

10 memorable pick-up lines from poetic greats. Try them at a bar near you.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Behn (Aphra), Donne (John), Herrick (Robert), Marvell (Andrew), Montagu (Lady Mary Wortley), Rostand (Edmond de), Shakespeare (William), Wilmot (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

500 Days of Marianne & Willoughby

The film “500 Days of Summer” has a lot in common with Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.” Realizing this can make us feel better about the ending of both works.

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“Frozen” Is “Sense & Sensibility” with Ice

To compare “Sense and Sensibility” to the movie “Frozen” is to open up new complexities in the novel.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

Austenland, a Game for Janeites

At the end of each fall semester, we have a “fall festival” where the first year seminar students present a project to the community that shares some of what they have learned. This year my Jane Austen class invented a board game for the occasion, which they are calling Austenland. In the past, my Austen […]

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Inviting Jane into Your Life

Once again Jane Austen has stepped into the lives of my students and enriched their lives immeasurably.

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Who is the Worst Rake in Jane Austen?

A ranking of jane Austen’s rakes. Who is the most objectionable?

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10 Famous Fetish Objects in Lit

Literature is filled with fetish objects that take on outsized significance to various characters.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Fielding (Henry), Poe (Edgar Allan), Pope (Alexander), Proust (Marcel), Rushdie (Salman), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Wycherley (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sexual Misconduct in the Classics

A sexual misconduct course required of all employees got me thinking of problematic situations in the books that I teach.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Behn (Aphra), Bronte (Charlotte), Burney (Fanny), Euripides, Fielding (Henry), Montagu (Lady Mary Wortley), Sir Gawain Poet, Wilmot (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dark Doubles in Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen’s novels, “Emma” may gives us the most interesting character study.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Comedy & Sentiment, a Potent Mixture

Literature that moves the heart seems opposed to comedy, but sometimes they work together.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Fielding (Henry), MacKenzie (Henry), Richardson (Samuel), Sheridan (Richard), Wilde (Oscar) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imagine Austen vs. War on Women

Rightwing attacks on reproductive rights have their antecedents in the moralistic judgments of Mr. Collins and Mary Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice.”

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Test Your Knowledge of Jane Austen

A quiz to test your knowledge of Jane Austen novels.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Marianne’s Passion for Dead Leaves

In “Sense and Sensibility,” Austen gets us to reflect on the attractions and dangers of Nature.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Thomson (James) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austen, Moral Equivocation, and the NFL

My love of the NFL runs me up against some real moral quandaries. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would understand.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Bronte (Charlotte) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Books about People Reading Books

Books about books give readers a sense that they are part of a larger community.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Bronte (Charlotte), Dickens (Charles), Grahame (Kenneth), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Ransome (Arthur), Stevenson (Robert Louis), Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Wealthy Get Wealthier

Thomas Piketty turns to Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac to analyze “Capitalism in the 21st Century.”

Posted in Austen (Jane), Balzac (Honoré de), James (Henry), Pamuk (Orhan) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austen on Bad Reasons for Getting Married

In “Pride and Prejudice” Jane Austen systematically explores bad reasons for getting married.

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Ask Jane: Advice for Lovers

“Pride and Prejudice” functions as a perceptive guide in how to develop a soul relationship.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

Elizabeth & Darcy, The Perfect Couple

An explanation as to why we thrill to the Elizabeth-Darcy relationship.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Centrality of Fiction to Our Lives

Jonathan Gottschall’s “How Stories Make Us Human” is an enlightening book with some limitations.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Jane Austen, Must Reading for Scientists

Jane Austen can serve as a warning to scientists about confirmation bias.

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