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A Little “Persuasion” & Birthday Tea for Jane Austen
Dr. Dan Gunn, professor of English at the University of Maine at Farmington, will read and discuss key sentences of Jane Austen’s late masterpiece Persuasion on Saturday, December 15th at 1pm in the Rines Auditorium. Please join us for a tea party following the book discussion to celebrate Austen’s 243rd birthday – featuring cake and selfies with Jane!
Born December 16, 1775, Jane Austen was an extraordinary English writer who first gave the novel its modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. Her use of irony, humor and social commentary have earned her acclaim, and she is celebrated today for her works that have become timeless classics.
Austen’s earliest writings date from about 1787 and include plays, verses, short novels and other prose. Her first published novel was Sense and Sensibility in 1811, followed by Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Persuasion, Austen’s last novel, was published posthumously in 1817.
Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot, the quiet, sensitive and intelligent second daughter of an aristocratic father whose vanity has driven the family into debt. It is a window into 18th century British landed gentry society and the dependence of women on marriage for their social and economic standing. Widely regarded as Austen’s most moving novel, Persuasion’s 200th anniversary was celebrated by adoring Jane Austen fans worldwide in 2017.
This program is brought to you by the New Commons Project, a public humanities initiative of the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine’s public liberal arts college, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. It is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The New Commons Project is focused on building a contemporary cultural commons of art, literature, and ideas that are submitted by members of the Maine community and speak to us in our contemporary time and place. Jane Austen’s Persuasion is one of the 12 final selections for this project.
To learn more about the New Commons Project, or to submit a nomination for the next round of selections to be announced in 2019, visit the website at: https://newcommonsproject.org/