UCL’s Professor John Mullan – ‘What Matters in Jane Austen?’
Tuesday 19 January 2016
GCSE and Sixth Form English Literature students were treated to a fascinating seminar with one of the giants of contemporary literary criticism on Monday 18 January.
Professor John Mullan, Head of English at University College London, spoke with infectious enthusiasm about ‘What Matters in Jane Austen?’. He quizzed the girls on their knowledge of the plot intricacies of Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park, and shed light on the parallels and contrasts between early 19th Century society and our own.
In particular he alerted students to the ingeniously subtle technique that Austen originated to allow her readers insight into her characters’ points of view – the so-called ‘free indirect style’.
After the talk, Professor Mullan was joined by Sixth Form English Literature students and staff to continue the discussion over dinner in the Terrace Room. We would like to thank him sincerely for giving up time in his busy schedule, and we would also like to acknowledge the work of Maddy Webster (Lower Sixth) in helping to make the evening such a success.