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British Women Novelists: The Times of Their Lives

Session 3 of 4-Session Daytime Course

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 12:00 p.m.
Code: 1H0419C

What would you do if you had no rights to your own money or children, but your abusive husband did? How would you survive if you couldn’t inherit the family estate because you were female? What if your only path to engaging in a social and political life were through an arranged marriage? 

British novelists Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, Anne Bronte, and Elisabeth Gaskell addressed these questions and other serious cultural, political, and intellectual issues of their times—from the evolving status of women to the growth of the British empire, from the shifting views on literature’s purpose to the social unrest created by industrialization.

Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer at Georgetown University, in spirited commentary and informal discussions about the works of these authors as they navigate the hierarchical world of England in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Participants should read the featured book ahead of the session.


Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)

The story of Helen Huntington, a fugitive from an abusive marriage, in an age that did not recognize a woman’s rights to her children or her money.

If you are interested in other sessions or the full course, click here.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)