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The Life and Works of Jane Austen

By: Devoney Looser,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Devoney Looser
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Summary

Born to the ranks of the lower English gentry in 1775, Jane Austen led what some have mistakenly described as an ordinary and unremarkable life - a life that ended all too soon at the age of 41. But from this life, Austen drew inspiration for six novels that all rank as literary masterpieces, including the widely beloved Pride and Prejudice. So, what do we really know about Austen’s life and influences? 

With Professor Devoney Looser of Arizona State University, you will get invaluable insight into Austen’s everyday reality in the elegant and tumultuous Regency period and a more thorough understanding of her influence and lasting legacy. Over the course of the 24 lessons of The Life and Works of Jane Austen, you will explore her six completed works, as well as her raucous teenage writings and unfinished novels. You will also get a guided tour of Austen’s world - the politics, social dynamics, major events, cultural markers, and class structures that defined the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Great Britain - and how these elements shaped her life and inspired her work. While there may always be a certain amount of mystery about Austen’s life, this course offers a fuller understanding of her world and how she brilliantly captured it on the page. 

Jane Austen’s work was shaped profoundly by the world she lived in, and The Life and Works of Jane Austen offers you the chance to explore this world and to see how the novels Austen published over two centuries ago continue to engage and entertain readers and influence popular culture through countless adaptations on page and screen. Whether you are a fan, a casual reader - or even someone who has always been a little confused by “Austenmania” - this course will illuminate the worlds, both real and imagined, of Austen’s fiction and her astonishing contributions to literature.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 The Great Courses (P)2021 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about The Life and Works of Jane Austen

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Oh dear the voice

NO ONE can help their voice I know but this one grated.
Could not finish the book...

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Jane Austen's life and influence

I found the American accent grating. Lucy Worsley's book is so much better but stops at Austen's death. These lectures follow the influence of Austen into modern film and contain some interesting extra information.

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  • 28-01-22

highly recommended

I have enjoyed these lessons greatly, the course is well structure and highly interesting. every Jane Austen's fan should listen to it!!!

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  • Miamigrrl
  • 14-04-21

A great class!

A friend saw this advertised and recommended it to me. I thought - ha! I could probably TEACH this class. After all, I have been a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America for 15 years and, pre-pandemic, attended monthly meetings. During the pandemic I have joined one or two online meetings a week. I have been to 4 Annual General Meetings and took a "Jane Austen Tour of England" in 2010. But I met Dr. Looser at a reception at the Jane Austen Fest in Mt. Dora, FL in Feb. 2020 and loved her talk there, so I thought I would try this class. I could not have been more wrong - I have learned a LOT and really enjoyed Dr. Looser's presentation of the information. I would heartily recommend this course to both Jane Austen "newbies" and veteran fans.

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  • bookgirl
  • 20-02-21

Interesting info, enthusiastically presented

The instructor's passion for her subject is very clear as she shares a wealth of knowledge about Jane Austen's life and the world she lived in, as well as how that world is reflected in her books. Specific examples from the books are used to show how Austen was influenced by the popular fiction of her day, and how she played with the conventions of late 18th-century literature. I was pleased that the course covers not only the major works we know and love, but also Austen's early writings known collectively as her juvenilia and "Sanditon," the work left unfinished by her untimely death at the age of 41. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Jane Austen and/or Regency England.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-21

Loved every minute!

Putting Ms. Austen in historical context and dispelling myths were my favorite parts, but all of this was interesting!

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  • Jennifer Corkern
  • 21-04-21

Self proclaimed Janeite approves

Great narration, informative topic, and a lot of interesting tidbits. I consider myself a Janeite and have read many Austen related books. However, instill learned new things and appreciated the author's view point.

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  • 2FlippingKids
  • 20-07-21

So many things I didn't know!

I really enjoyed this audiobook. Professor Looser goes into details about the time period that helped me make sense of Austen's works. I had a number of, "Ah! So that's why they did that!" moments.

If you enjoy reading or listening to Jane Austen, this is a necessity!

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  • Kiki Bean
  • 13-06-21

Fantastic!

An engaging, in depth course on one of the best writer's of all time. An absolute must-read for anybody who adores Austen's work. I will definitely re-listen to this series again and again.

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  • pogue
  • 15-03-21

pretty basic

Good course - if you've never read any of Austen's books. Glad they released it, bit disappointed. Maybe they could do an entire course for every book...

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  • Michelle M.
  • 18-03-22

Educational and Interesting

I really enjoyed this class. I liked how it covered each of her books. And also talked about the time period she wrote in. Excellent class.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-02-22

Intolerable

How can it be that that a teacher of literature, especially of Austen, is such a shallow thinker, bad writer, and annoyance speaker?

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  • Daniel
  • 05-02-22

Very informative

I thought that this course was very well put together and quite informative about the stories Jane Austen wrote. I feel that I understand them better now and will listen to again because I may have missed something. I also appreciated hearing more about what her life was like and the societal and other issues she faced during her lifetime. Would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to know more about Miss Austen, her life and her literary contributions.

1 person found this helpful