In the little over forty years of life of Jane Austen (Steventon, 1775 - Winchester, 1817) a series of important revolutions, convulsive social movements and political changes took place in Europe. In contrast to what can be appreciated in many of her contemporaries, there is barely any mention of these events in the English novelist’s works. However, in her half a dozen novels (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) there is a portrait of the affluent society of her time, with characters–above all feminine–who live in the rural and isolated world, of the petite landowning gentry.
These two lectures will try to illustrate this period of transition between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and show how the writer helped to portray that important change of period, approaching it through the fictionalisation of the microcosm of the “little England” in which she lived.
Available on streaming via Canal March