Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorTyler Knowles and Judy McGeorge
Date & Time Thursdays, February 8, 15, 22, 29
1:00 pm-3:00 pm
LocationBy Zoom
Available Spaces4

Two years ago, we did a colloquy on Sense and Sensibility and Emma; a year ago, we took up Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. In this colloquy, we will finish discussing Jane Austen’s major works, the novel she wrote first, Northanger Abbey, and the one she wrote last, shortly before she died, Persuasion. Both were published posthumously in 1817.

In Northanger Abbey one sees Austen near the start of her career yet already developing unforgettable characters, telling a gripping tale, providing a philosophy of fiction writing, and handling satire. Naturally, romance does figure in but so does the growth, emotionally and intellectually, of the heroine. Despite its gothic overtones, the novel is light and moves quickly. Persuasion comes from the pen of a more mature writer. In it the heroine is not a young woman but one who, unmarried at 27, is “on the shelf” (as my mother used to say); here, she shows the conflict between two sets of values, prudence and love, self-assertion and self-denial, a conflict that has been incipient in her other works, especially in the roles of minor characters. It is a story of second chances, of sisters, of friendships, of families, of scathing social satire, and, yes of course, of marriages. Join Tyler Knowles and Judy McGeorge for our last Austen colloquy.

Tyler Knowles retired after 34 years of teaching English and chairing the English Department at the Winsor School, an independent school for girls in Boston. She also taught English and writing at the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, and Dartmouth College before Winsor. More recently, she served nine years on the GSA Board and is a member of the Colloquy Downeast Steering Committee.

Judy McGeorge is a member of Colloquy Downeast Steering Committee. She has a Master of Liberal Arts degree from St John’s College Graduate Institute. She lives in Ellsworth and likes to participate in colloquies reading works using the St John’s College style of learning.

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading


One week on Northanger Abbey

Three weeks on Persuasion

Perhaps we will do a final session on all 6 Austen novels—their commonalities and central differences.

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