Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorTyler Knowles and Judy McGeorge
Date & TimeWednesdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 2022
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Locationvia ZOOM
Available Spaces0

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.

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading


It is helpful for all of us to have the same editions so we can go to specific pages in the texts. However this is not required. We will tell Blue Hill Books which editions we are using, in hopes that they may be able to order a few copies.

Sense and Sensibility, Penguin Classics, 2003
 ISBN: 978-0141439662. (368 pages) ( $7.99)
Emma, Penguin Classics, 2003
ISBN: 978-0141439587  (512 pages) ( $7.51)
(at Amazon–These are paperbacks under Amazon classics. Best to order with the ISBN #)

Please read both novels once before our first session on March 2.  We will focus the first two sessions  on Sense and Sensibility and the following two on Emma.

Audiobook versions: If you have access to audiobooks and like to listen to books, here are two recommended versions:

Sense and Sensibility: Read by Rosamund Pike. (11 hours, 25 minutes).

Emma : Read by Jenny Agutter.  (14 hours, 45 minutes).


We will assume that everyone has read both novels prior to starting the colloquy, but will begin our discussion at each session focusing on half the text of each novel.

Session 1 – March 2, 2022

Sense and Sensibility – first half. We will focus our discussion on the first half of the book: through Volume II Chapter V (or Chapter 27).

Here is a link to a webpage that illustrates and gives the history of  the paper scrollwork basket in Vol II Ch I (Ch 23) page 137. Sensational Scrolled Paper: A Refined Art . The article even mentions the scene.


Session 2 – March 9, 2022

Sense and Sensibility – second half: Vol II Chapter VI – chapter 27 to end.

Session 3 – March 16, 2022

Emma – first half.

Session 4 – March 23, 2022

Emma – second half.


Here is a fun tidbit to get you started….

Breaking News From 1795_ Jane Austen Falls in Love – WSJ

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