Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Austen, Persuasion: Revision and Study Guides

A short post on materials for studying and revising Jane Austen's Persuasion - activities which are, needless to say, logically secondary to reading and thinking about it independently. There seem to be plenty of materials of one sort or another out there, as a search for 'Austen study Persuasion' on Amazon revealed.


Study Guide published on the Cross-Ref it site

Diana Mitchell's  Penguin Teacher's Guide suggests class activities for teachers, but is useful for individual study, keeping our eye on characters and themes with chapter-by-chapter questions.


Plenty of links from this Jane Austen blog

Set of study questions

The Republic of Pemberly site is a hub for Austen, with some busy discussion boards around Persuasion.

This lecture by April Bernard covers many key aspects of the novel: Austen's background and time; the context of English class and revolutionary europe; her debt to Samuel Johnson; the use of free indirect discourse; and the elements of the novel which make it a 'fairy-tale for grown-ups'. The lecture is half an hour, followed by Q&A. Link here.

Roger Gard's book on Emma and Persuasion for Penguin Masterstudies (out of print) is excellent.

Richard Gill and Susan Gregory, Mastering the Novels of Jane Austen. Substantial chapters on each of the novels.

Annotated Texts
Annotated editions are an ideal way to study a novel, especially for a writer like Austen, where we need help in picking up the references and understandings that would have been second nature at the time: Robert Morrison's sumptuous Persuasion: An Annotated Edition (Harvard) will be the edition of choice for carraige folk; David M Shaphard's Annotated Persuasion is available in printed form but much cheaper in Kindle format. From the sample pages I have seen it looks very handy. There are a lot of privately published notes and commentaries on the novel for Kindle. I haven't used them - still not quite in the Kindle community - so I can't recommend any but I'd be interested to learn of any good ones.