Tag Archives: Sense and Sensibility

From Wycherley to Crazy, Stupid, Love

In my “Restoration and 18th Century Couples Comedy” class, my students paired old rom-coms with contemporary films, including “Ten Things I Hate about You,” “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, “Friends with Benefits,” and others.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Behn (Aphra), Cowley (Hannah), Goldsmith (Oliver), Sheridan (Richard), Wycherley (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Alt-Right Austen Takeover Will Fail

The alt-right has tried to appropriate Jane Austen. Their readings are alternately hilarious and horrifying.

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

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.

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

“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 […]

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

Inviting Jane into Your Life

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

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

Who is the Worst Rake in Jane Austen?

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

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

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

Is Emma RGIII or Richie Incognito?

Some of the dramas in Jane Austen can also be found in the NFL.

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

Jane Austen to Grace £10 Note

The good and the bad of Austen appearing on British £10 note

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

Jane Austen, Mistress of Manipulation

A new political science text shows that Jane Austen has a shrewd understanding of game theory.

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

Jane Austen Has Something for Everyone

No two students respond to Jane Austen the same.

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

Serving Students a Jane Austen High Tea

Serving my students a Jane Austen high tea made the novels come alive.

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

Jilted by Your Fiancé? Turn to Austen

A student distraught when her fiance dropped her used Jane Austen’s ironic wit in “Sense and Sensibility” to regain perspective and reenter the world.

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

Dear Frustrated in Love: Read a Classic

Literature is better than any self help book for relationship guidance.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Garcia Marquez (Gabriel), Virgil | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Mitt Romney a Doctor Faustus?

If Mitt Romney sells his soul for the nomination, can he get it back? Christopher Marlowe would say that it doesn’t look good.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Marlowe (Christopher) | Also tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

If Jane Austen Used Facebook . . .

To update Jane Austen, my class took eight of her characters from “Sense and Sensibility” and put them in Facebook conversation with each other.

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

Cinderella vs. Jane Eyre in Soccer Final

In tomorrow’s World Cup finals, Japan is Cinderella going up against America’s Jane Eyre.

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Ask Jane: Expert Relationship Advice

“My idea of good company,” says Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, “is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation.” To which her cousin replies, “That is not good company, that is the best.” I feel that I have emerged from the best of company as my Jane Austen […]

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

Dancing in Jane Austen’s Day

Sports Saturday I realize that social dancing isn’t normally regarded as a competitive sport, but I have a dance story I want to share so I’ll bend the rules of “Sports Saturday.” This one involves an afternoon of dancing where my Jane Austen seminar learned a number of the steps that her heroines engage in. […]

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

Lee’s Film Has More Sensibility than Sense

  Film Friday A while back I wrote about how Patricia Rozema’s film of Mansfield Park sells Jane Austen short. Today I accuse Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995) of doing the same. When the film came out, I remember hearing an interview with Lee (maybe on National Public Radio) about how his affinity with Jane […]

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

Regency Teens, Same Issues as Today

Seldom have I enjoyed a course more than my current first year seminar on Jane Austen—specifically “Jane Austen and the Challenges of Being a Regency Teenager.” The title of the course isn’t historically accurate since young men and women in the early 19th century didn’t think of themselves as teenagers. Adolescence wasn’t as prolonged as […]

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

Comparing Jane Austen and Frank Capra

Film Friday Teaching Sense and Sensibility in my Jane Austen First Year Seminar is giving me the chance to once again relish the magnificent way that the author dispenses poetic justice. This time through, I found that the ending of the novel reminds me of the ending of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Since […]

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

How the Rich Cry Poverty, Austen Style

John Kenneth Galbraith, noted economist and author of The Affluent Society, used to read Jane Austen before he sat down to write. He wanted to achieve the author’s light ironic touch in his own work. Yesterday another liberal economist had me thinking of Austen. Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate who writes for the New York […]

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

How to Film Austen Heroines Saying Yes

Amanda Root as Anne Elliott  Film Friday One must show a great deal of sensitivity in how one films a Jane Austen heroine accepting a marriage proposal. That’s because the author never shows us the acceptances directly. Although I am generally not a great fan of filmed versions of Jane Austen novels, I have to […]

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

Austen’s Good Enough Match

First of all, a happy birthday to Jane Austen (thanks to my mother for pointing this out).  Jane would have been 234 today. My students have been bothered by the Marianne-Brandon marriage that concludes Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and I’m inclined to agree with them.  Kat Vander Wende reasonably pointed out that the sought-after […]

Posted in Austen (Jane), Pound (Ezra) | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Romantic Comedy, A Fruitful Oxymoron

I met with my British Restoration and 18th Century Couples Comedy class for one last time today.  I baked them a whiskey cake (I do this for all of my classes), and we reflected on the experience of the course. We had undertaken quite a journey, starting out with the scandalous poetry of the licentious […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete