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Like most writers, Jane Austen was a reader, avidly consuming the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction prose of her day. Her letters offer tantalizing glimpses of her reactions (for instance, here and here), and her novels paint portraits of heroines who read: Catherine Morland devours Anne Radcliffe, Marianne Dashwood swoons over Cowper, and Anne Elliot justly appreciates Scott and Byron.
So it’s welcome news that the North Carolina public humanities collaborative Jane Austen & Co., the home of much innovative online Austen programming, is sponsoring an upcoming Zoom lecture series centered on the reading culture of the Regency and the authors whose work Austen knew, or might have known.
The first three scholarly lectures, scheduled over the next month and a half, will cover the communal reading of Austen’s circle, the lives and work of Austen contemporaries Jane and Anna Maria Porter, and Austen’s links to Byron. All programs are free, but you must register to get the Zoom link.