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Pride and Prejudice is one of the best-known and best-loved novels of all time.  Austen herself felt its attractions, but also wrote that it was ‘rather too light & bright & sparkling; — it wants shade.’  Maybe we can (against the grain) throw some shade on the text? — discuss some of its ambiguities and problematics?  Also, the novel’s romantic arc can obscure how much socio-cultural information it transmits, so let’s talk about the real-world aspects of the novel.  Some of you might also want to bring to the discussion your assessments of the many film versions of the novel — from the 1940 film starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson to the 1995 BBC series to the 2004 film ‘Bride and Prejudice’ set in modern India.

Tara Ghoshal Wallace is Emerita Professor of English at George Washington University, specializing in 18th– and 19th-century British literature.  Her books include Jane Austen and Narrative Authority, Imperial Characters:  Home and Periphery in Eighteenth-Century Literature, Women Critics, 1660-1820 (co-editor, with the Folger Collective), and Frances Burney’s A Busy Day (editor).  Recent articles include pieces on Austen, Burney, Alexander Pope, Walter Scott, and Mary Wollstonecraft.  Her current book project is on Walter Scott’s representations of monarchy.

During her long tenure at GWU, Tara Wallace has served as Associate Dean for Graduate Students, as the English Department’s Director of Graduate Students, and as Chair of the Committee on University Honours and the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Libraries.

Read the book or watch one of the movies based on this book before the discussion. Only register if you did not register for the previous discussion on Northanger Abbey.

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