What is it about Jane Austen’s novels that makes them so engaging and, yes, so comforting to read? Is it that the main character, always a young woman, ends up with someone who can genuinely appreciate her? Is it because some characters we care about are able to recognize their own flaws and are able to change? Or do we want to learn why some people are incapable of change? Or is it the irony, the social satire, the comic touches, and the language that make them such fun to read? Or might it be because life in an Austen novel seems just so different from our own so that we can escape into another world? Or perhaps it is the characters’ struggles with deception and loss, love and friendship that help us navigate our own lives. In this colloquy, we will immerse ourselves in the world of Jane Austen’s novels as a way to answer all of these questions and more.
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. She and her husband, Larry Flood divide their time between a shore house on the East Blue Hill Rd and a cottage at Parker Ridge.
Judy McGeorge is a former 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 and offer colloquies that read works using the St John’s College style of learning.
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