|Group leader||Florence Reid|
|Meets||Second Tuesday of the month, 2.15-4pm|
Despite completing only six novels and a novella, Jane Austen is considered to be one of the top 10 novelists of all time.
Certainly the U3A members who gather monthly on a Tuesday afternoon would agree. Where else would you find this clarity of writing, this wit and, most of all, this amazing understanding of the human heart?
The first book studied, Pride and Prejudice, was published over 200 years ago in 1813. Today this is by far the most popular and widely read of Jane Austen’s novels. Its enduring appeal owes much to the charm of the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, whose independent spirit and sparkling wit are so attractive to 21st century readers.
The second book we tackled was Sense and Sensibility, begun in the 1790s but not published until 1811. We also studied Northanger Abbey, which Austen began writing in her youth but was not published until after her death in 1817. This light-hearted work draws heavily on the author’s first-hand knowledge of Bath and, with its amusing dialogue and parodies of the Gothic novels so fashionable at the time, lends itself to being read out loud.
This year we have chosen Emma, arguably Austen’s finest achievement.