June 21st, 2007

Jane Austen rocks

For the last 8 months I've been studying A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism.  It covered:

Les Philosophes - Diderot, Hume, Rousseau & De Sade
Don Giovanni by Mozart
The French Revolution
Napoleon - through Stendhal and the artists David, Gros and others
Evangelicalism in the UK - especially Newton & Cowper & their Olney Hymns
William Wilberforce
The slave writings of Mary Prince, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and Robert Wedderburn
Mungo Park Travels in the Interior of Africa
The Lake District: The Picturesque, the Beautiful and the Sublime
Robert Owen - New Lanark: A New Moral World?
Sir Humphry Davy and Sir John Soane: New Approaches to Science and Architecture
Two Conceptions of Art - The German Sturm und Drang movement & early Romantics
The Romantic Circle; Romanticism in Practice
Goethe, Faust Part One
Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's Poems
Byron, Childe Harold III
The Royal Pavilion at Brighton
Eugene Delacroix: Reluctant Romantic

As you can see it's quite broad based.


I had my exam last Tuesday - hopefully everything went as well as I feel it did (fingers crossed) so I'm at a bit of a loose end.  I started reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - because I've read Harry Potter until I know the words - and I was amazed at just how different it seems now.

I think I 'get' more of what her contemporaries would have got.  The wittiness of the books.  Why don't we play Jane Austen for laughs?  When you take into account her people are extreme Enlightenment figures or extreme Romantics - almost caricatures and their behaviour, speech - all of it - over the top, they are very funny.  

I'd never realised that before.

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