Stapleford Granary

Course description

Reading Jane Austen's Emma

In Partnership with Literature Cambridge

21st March 2020

14:00 - 17:30 | £50/£45 Students

CAMcard holders can book at the student price

Tea and coffee provided


Join us for an intensive and exciting Study Day on Jane Austen’s much-loved novel, Emma (1816).

Two leading Cambridge scholars will lecture on Emma, and we finish the day with a round-table seminar. A great chance to discover, or revisit, the best of university teaching. 

Louise Joy, Jane Austen and Women's Writing

In the eighteenth century, women writers dominated the literary marketplace. Many readers came to see the novel as a feminised form. This lecture will situate Jane Austen’s Emma in the context of eighteenth-century women’s writing. How was Austen influenced by the women who came before her? How does she adapt the novel form to build on the prose innovations of earlier women writers?

Fred Parker, Match-making in Emma

Guessing who is or might be in love with whom is a favourite activity in Highbury, and Emma, the great ‘imaginist’ in that community, is its supreme practitioner. This fondness for making up stories that end in marriage is something that she shares with Austen: Austen's readers are themselves drawn into match-making. We shall explore the difficulty in reading the signs of love in social exchanges, why story-telling might be crucial to this, and what it suggests about the psychology of feeling if the reader or the story-teller can be well ahead of the person who turns out to have always been in love.


Louise Joy is Senior College Lecturer in English and a Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge.

Fred Parker is Senior Lecturer in English and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.

Further Information:

Telephone: 01223 324960