Literary Lectures: Professor John Mullan (University College London) on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
The English Department’s Literary Lectures series resumed on 14th November with a talk delivered by Professor John Mullan, Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature and Head of English at University College London. It was a return visit to LEH for Professor Mullan, who delivered a Literary Lecture last year.
Professor Mullan considered the idea of marriage in the novels and the nature of proposals from male characters, which, we were reminded, were all too subtle rather than explicit professions of love. A further focal point was the notion of class – though ‘rank’ is a more fitting term where Jane Austen’s novels are concerned. Characters in Sense and Sensibility were considered in view of social mobility in the Regency period, as was the notion of being ‘genteel’. Particularly illuminating was Professor Mullan’s analysis of idiolect amongst Austen’s characters as a reflection of their social status.
Professor Mullan’s talk was very well received by a large audience comprising our GCSE and A Level English Literature students, as well as parents and staff.
By Mr Li – Head of English
- LEH English
- LEH Senior School