Jane Austen and John Keats

Lecture series: Jane Austen and John Keats – Bembridge Village Hall – 3pm Sunday 22nd October and 3pm Sunday 26th November

We are delighted that Professor Freya Johnston, Director of Graduate Studies in Oxford University’s English Faculty, will be visiting Bembridge to talk about both Jane Austen and John Keats.


Sunday 22nd October, Bembridge Village Hall, 3pm.

By around 1787, the time that she left school, Jane Austen was already an avid reader, devouring pulp fiction and classic literature alike. What she read, she soon began to imitate and parody. Themes which appear subtly in Austen’s later fiction run riot openly and exuberantly across these pages – drunkenness, brawling, sexual misdemeanour, theft, and even murder are all here. Join Oxford professor Freya Johnston as she explores the three surviving notebooks from the author’s teenage years, in this, Austen’s bicentenary year.

The talk will be followed by full afternoon tea prepared by the Ryde Lions.


Sunday 26th November, Bembridge Village Hall, 3pm.

Professor Johnston will talk about the life and poetry of John Keats – including his connections with the Isle of Wight.

Tea and Harp Recital

The talk will be followed by full afternoon tea prepared by the Ryde Lions, together with a harp recital including 18th century music by renowned Island harpist Theresa Ellis, a leading light of the Harp on Wight Festival.

Tickets are £10 for each event including afternoon tea.  Please book early by calling Judith on 875738 or emailing jira@btinternet.com.


Professor Freya Johnston

Freya Johnston - web_3

Professor Johnston researches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English literature, especially prose style, the novel, and mock-heroic literature, as well as German literature.

She is the general editor of the seven-volume Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock, the first volumes of which were published in 2015, and co-editor of Love Peacock’s  penultimate novel, Crotchet Castle. She is currently working on a book that takes off from all this work on Romantic prose satire and is (for now) called Novels of Talk; it will be about the ways in which dialogue and opinion evolve in fictional writing from the eighteenth century to the present. She is also co-editing Jane Austen’s juvenilia for the Oxford World’s Classics series.

Her other research interests include Pope, Swift, epic and mock-epic, Byron, Dickens, German literature (especially Kafka), prose style, practical criticism, and comparative literature.

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