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Austen: Pride and Prejudice

5. Narrative Voice

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the narrative voice in Pride and Prejudice, focusing in particular on Austen's use of 'free indirect discourse'.

Further reading:
– Katie Halsey, Jane Austen and her Readers, 1786-1945 (London: Anthem, 2012)
– Judith Lowder Newton, ‘"Pride and Prejudice": Power, Fantasy, and Subversion in Jane Austen’, Feminist Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Feb., 1978), pp. 27-42.
– Rachel Provenzano Oberman, ‘Fused Voices: Narrated Monologue in Jane Austen's Emma’, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 64, No. 1 (June 2009), pp. 1-15.
– Narelle Shaw, ‘Free Indirect Speech and Jane Austen's 1816 Revision of Northanger Abbey’, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 30, No. 4, Nineteenth Century (Autumn,1990), pp. 591-601.
– Tara Ghoshal Wallace, Jane Austen and Narrative Authority (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995)
– A. Walton Litz, Jane Austen: A Study of her Artistic Development (New York: OUP, 1967)


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 - Narrative Voice [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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