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Jane Austen’s Emma, as lovely as a summer walk in a meadow, is also about leading and following, education, Napoleon, imagination, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the fine grain of community life and learning to read again.
Austen wrote Emma while her brothers were at sea in the fateful last year of Napoleon’s campaigns, from January of 1814 to March of 1815, and she wrote it to be read over and over. This August, in a summer of respite and strain, come for a walk in Highbury, and you may, if the weather is right, share with Emma “all the wonderful velocity of thought.”
Class meets Tuesdays: August 11, 18 and 25.
Copies of Emma can be purchased from bookshop.org.
Rachel Cohen is the author of Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists; Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade; and the forthcoming Austen Year: A Memoir in Five Novels, an "exhilarating and beautiful" book, wrote Claire Messud. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian and London Review of Books. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, MacDowell, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Chicago.
Reading Austen’s Emma with Rachel Cohen
Revisit Emma, Jane Austen’s classic novel about community and reading with Rachel Cohen.