Dr Katie Halsey
Maximum: 15 Students
Venue: Senate House

The aim of this course will be to explore the woman reader from a variety of different perspectives. We will take a history of reading approach, and, although the method will be primarily literary-historical, we will also consider feminist theory and its relevance to understanding women readers of the past. We will focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and we will consider the relationships between perceptions of the woman reader, and the reality of her reading experiences. In addition to introductory seminars that synthesise key material, and seminars that foreground particular case studies of both famous and lesser-known readers (including but not limited to Jane Austen, Anna Larpent, Elizabeth Rose, Elizabeth Barrett Browning), there will also be a field trip.

Key Texts

Kate Flint, The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).

Katie Halsey, Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945 (London: Anthem Press, 2012).

Jacqueline Pearson, Women’s Reading in Britain, 1750-1835: A Dangerous Recreation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

James Raven, Helen Small and Naomi Tadmor, eds, The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (London: The Hogarth Press, 1929).