Category Archives: Austen, Jane

Curtis Sittenfeld, Ineligible

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” –  Fitzwilliam Darcy, in Pride and Prejudice “I’m in love with you. It’s probably an illusion caused by the release of oxytocin during sex, but I feel as […]

Is Jane Austen a “Romance Novelist”?

I feel as if I should begin with a disclaimer: this post is just a preliminary attempt to sort something out for myself that I am sure has been discussed a lot already! I know it’s not a new question, but it is a new one for me to be thinking carefully about — and that’s […]

This Week In My Classes: Team Brontë!

I got a bit snippy with the tweeters from Oxford World’s Classics a couple of days ago. Poor things: they were just doing their job, spreading some news about great books and trying to get people to click through and read it. How could they know that I was already feeling grumpy, for reasons quite beyond […]

This Week In My Classes: The Pride and Prejudice Paradox

I don’t teach it very often anymore: it’s too popular. This is my version, I guess, of Yogi Berra’s line “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Pride and Prejudice is the only work I ever teach (in any genre) that has routinely been read already, often multiple times, by many of the students in […]

This Week In My Reading: Scale and Significance

In a way, this post is also about “this week in my classes,” as it is prompted by the serendipitous convergence of my current reading around questions we’ve been discussing since we started working on Carol Shields’ Unless in my section of Intro to Lit. In our first session on the novel, I give some introductory remarks about Shields — […]

Emsley, The Jane Austen Playgroup

I’m deep into a rather quixotic essay project and thus stalled in my other reading and writing, including blogging. But this is no loss to you, as I’m going to fill in the gap with a lovely little piece of writing by someone else. Here’s an excerpt from a charming children’s story called The Jane […]

50 Greatest Books: Pride and Prejudice

From the Novel Readings archives: In 2008, the Globe and Mail ran a series on the “50 Greatest Books.” Though, quite mysteriously, they never asked me, a complete nobody, to weigh in (no, not even on Middlemarch!), I couldn’t resist opining occasionally off in my own corner of the internet. As I’m hard at work […]

Silly Novels by Women Novelists; or, Reflections on Jane Austen, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Winning at Scrabble

From the Novel Readings Archives Seeing the movie tie-in edition of Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic prominently displayed in a bookstore this weekend reminded me of the rant the novel brought on when I read it a couple of years ago. As you would expect from what follows, I haven’t seen the film. Well […]

50 Greatest Books: Pride and Prejudice

This week in the Globe and Mail‘s “50 Greatest Books” series, Joan Thomas weighs in on Pride and Prejudice. While I heartily endorse the choice, I felt Thomas sold Austen short in her essay, accepting as wholly unironic Austen’s famous remark about her “little bit of ivory (two inches wide)” and claiming that Austen “shoved […]

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