Watch & Talk: Jane Austen
June 26, 2024


06/27/24 @ 1:00pm –
06/27/24 @ 2:00pm

Meeting Room B

Mammen Family Public Library

Registration Required

Registration for this event is required.


The library makes every effort to ensure a welcoming and accessible environment. We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities or food allergies at library events. Please contact at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.

Age Guidelines

Successful library programs are designed with age in mind. Please note this program’s age guidelines will be enforced for all active participants.

Registration is required.
Registration starts: 12/21/2023 @ 1:00pm

Registration end: 12/31/2024 @ 1:00pm

Join us as we dive deep into the world and literature of Jane Austen. We will be following a Great Courses series, The Life and Works of Jane Austen. Each of the meetings will start with a short video lecture, followed by a group discussion. For those attendees who are also interested in reading Jane Austen’s works, we will have suggested readings on certain dates to correspond with the course schedule.

This group will meet the second and fourth Thursdays of each month in 2024, beginning on January 11th. You can join the series at any time, and you only need to register once. After registering, you will receive a reminder the day before each meeting. You do not need to attend each meeting, but we hope you join us when you can!

Below is the course overview, along with a link to the video topics covered in this course.

Course Overview:

In 1811, a novel was published anonymously, by an author identified as “A Lady.” It did moderately well for a book of that kind. Little did anyone suspect that this novel would be the start of a literary legacy that would grow over the course of two centuries and cement its author as one of the greatest novelists in the English language.

The novel was Sense and Sensibility, and the unnamed “Lady” was Jane Austen. Born to the ranks of the lower gentry in 1775, Austen led what some have mistakenly described as an ordinary and unremarkable life—a life that ended too early, at the age of 41. But from this life, Austen drew inspiration for six novels that all rank as literary masterpieces, including the widely beloved Pride and Prejudice. So, what do we really know about Austen’s life and influences? What can a better understanding of her historical, cultural, and literary context tell us about how her brilliant work came to rank alongside Shakespeare, Eliot, and Dickens in the pantheon of revered British writers? Why does her work continue to resonate with readers from all walks of life and to inspire theater, film, television, and literary adaptations? Why do her deeply devoted fans continue to make pilgrimages to her home and celebrate her life 200 years after her death?

With Professor Devoney Looser of Arizona State University, you will delve into Austen’s everyday realities in the elegant and tumultuous Regency period and emerge with a more thorough understanding of her influence and lasting legacy. Over the course of the 24 lessons of The Life and Works of Jane Austen, you will explore her six completed works, as well as her raucous teenage writings and unfinished novels. You will also get a guided tour of Austen’s world—the politics, social dynamics, major events, cultural markers, and class structures that defined the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Great Britain and how these elements shaped her life and inspired her work. While a certain amount of mystery about Austen’s life will always exist, this course offers a fuller understanding of her world and how she brilliantly captured it on the page.

You can view the full course description and all of the video topics here.