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Austen: Pride and Prejudice

4. Irony

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Austen's use of irony in Pride and Prejudice, going through several examples from the first chapter of the novel.

Further reading:
– Morini, Massimiliano, 2009, Jane Austen’s Narrative Techniques: A Stylistic and Pragmatic Analysis, Ashgate, Farnham.
– Morini, Massimiliano, 2017, “Jane Austen’s Irony: Lost in the Italian Versions of Pride and Prejudice?”, Textus: Anglophone Studies in Literature, 3 (2017)
– Morini, Massimiliano, 2010, “The poetics of disengagement: Jane Austen and Echoic Irony”, Language and Literature 19 (4), pp. 339-56.
– Mudrick, Marvin, 1952, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery, University of California Press, Berkeley.
– Poovey, Mary, 1984, The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, Chicago U.P., Chicago.


In this course, Dr Katie Halsey (University of Stirling) explores Jane Austen's 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice. We begin by providing a broad introduction to the historical, literary, social and cultural context of the novel including the early reception of Austen's novel and the status of the novel as a genre in the early nineteenth century. In the second module, we think about the critical reception of Austen's novels from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, before moving on in the third module to explore the presentation of gender in the novel, focusing in particular on the position of gentry-class women in Georgian Britain and the various attitudes to marriage displayed in the novel. In the fourth module, we think about Austen's use of irony in the novel, before turning in the fifth module to explore Austen's use of narrative voice and the concept of 'free indirect discourse'.


Prof. Katie Halsey is Professor of English Studies at the University of Stirling. Her research interests lie mainly in the fields of eighteenth-century and Romantic-period literature and print culture, in particular Jane Austen and the history of reading, although she also works on Mary Russell Mitford and Margaret Oliphant. Her recent publications include (as co-editor) The History of Reading (2011) and Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945 (2012).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Halsey, K. (2018, August 15). Austen: Pride and Prejudice - Irony [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Halsey, K. "Austen: Pride and Prejudice – Irony." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,