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Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity

University of Southampton via FutureLearn


Discover the life and impact of Jane Austen

Jane Austen went from being a moderately successful anonymous novelist in her own time to a global celebrity in ours. On this course you will explore how that happened, exploring Austen’s own literary influences, and her reputation over time.

You will learn about her origins in Hampshire, uncovering her formative years, and the society she lived in, asking how Austen’s location, background and reading influenced her novels. You will also consider the ways her own contemporaries read and responded to her, and her place in the modern canon of world literature today, 200 years after she died.

This course is for anyone with an interest in Jane Austen, who is looking to deepen their knowledge of the author, her influences and her celebrity. This includes the members of Jane Austen Societies in North America, Japan, Brazil and many European countries but also those who simply love her writing or with to know more.


  • Education and reading
    • Welcome
    • An 18th-Century Education
    • What would Austen have read?
    • Summary activities
  • Influences and afterlives
    • Introduction to week 2
    • Influences on Austen: the arts
    • Influences on Austen: money and capital
    • Influences on Austen: public and private
    • Summary activities
  • Adaptation and Legacy
    • Welcome to week 3
    • Austen in translation: from Chawton to the world
    • Adaptations of Austen
    • Telling Austen's story
    • Summary activities
    • Closing words

Taught by

Gillian Dow


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 214 ratings

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