Workshop: Zooming Out

This workshop steps back from Jane Austen's life to explore the wider world of the nineteenth century, from the famous battles of the Napoleonic Wars, to the French revolution - all of which impacted on Jane and her writing.

Overview Summary:

The workshop explores life in the nineteenth century using extracts from Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.

Pupils have pre-activities to complete, post lesson extension activities to re- enforce the message of each lesson.

By the end of the session pupils will explore, develop knowledge and understanding of the life and times of Jane Austen. They will gain an opportunity to understand that Jane Austen enjoyed many friends and family connections all over the world. Her observation of and communication with them are reflected in her novels.

Using quotations from the novels through discussion, debate, and activity the pupils will explore:

  • Regency period and Georgian Britain
  • the web of Jane Austen’s family and friends: broadening her horizon from India to Nova Scotia
  • understand the history of communication development. Including:
    • the lack of freedom of speech.
    • the significance of letters as a structure for novels
    • the role of newspapers in life at the time
  • Jane Austen staying in London and enjoying visits to the theatre.
  • Napoleonic War – famous battles, the danger to England, and the effect on life at home.
  • explore classic literature
  • develop their independent and imaginative interpretations of Jane Austen’s work
  • develop critical viewpoints substantiated with evidence and explore her linguistic and creative material exposing her messages
  • understand the influences of Jane Austen’s writing
  • begin to form and articulate a critical understanding of complex texts and ideas
  • critically read and analyse text
  • reveal the intended depth of meaning from small extracts from novels, supporting pupils make connections across their reading.
  • understand Jane’s own reading and theatricals played a huge influence on
    • Whole text structure
    • Narrative form
    • Irony
    • Characterisation
    • Stage Craft
    • Inference