Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers

Austen vs Woolf:

The female fantasy

Enjoying this video? Why not to get exclusive and unlimited access to all our content.
Already have an account? .
To continue watching, to get exclusive and unlimited access to all our content.
Already have an account? .
You have watched your monthly limit of videos. to view an unlimited number of videos and articles.
Already have an account? .
IAI TV videos are for personal use only. For commercial or educational licensing please contact TVF International
  • The Debate

    Austen vs Woolf

    Jane Austen's wickedly satirical heroines have shaped our idea of romantic love. Yet for a close-up into the psyche Woolf is unrivalled. Whose view of womanhood was more real? Do Woolf's heroines reveal more about what it means to be a woman than Austen's manor-born maidens? You decide.

    The Panel

    Smack the Pony actress and Emma screenwriter Doon Mackichan, theologian and musician Malcolm Guite and Woolf biographer Frances Spaldnig track the evolution of womanhood.

  • Find out more about speakers

Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Frances Spalding
    The Pitch
    Woolf understood the fractures of female identity.
  • Malcolm Guite
    The Pitch
    Men can learn from both authors.
  • Doon Mackichan
    The Pitch
    Austen shows us the strength of women.
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    What does Woolf's writing reveal about what it means to be a woman?
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    What do Austen's characters reveal about female experience?
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    Can fictional representations of women affect social change?
Want to learn more about our speakers?
Join the conversation

to post comments or join now (only takes a moment). Don't have an account? Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Google to get started:

JamesKnight on 29/01/2016 4:47pm


But the social context of Austen's writing made this inevitable. Austen was one of the first people to pave the way for women to more than just women. She lays the groundwork for what you like in Woolf.

EmmyF on 29/01/2016 10:59am

Woolf's female characters explore ideas that extend far beyond the confines of what it means to be a woman. Austen's characters can't seem to get away from it.

Copy and paste the code below to embed or link to this video.

Embed options
  • Video Seek
    Converted to a link which jumps to that point in the video
    Example: 00:34
  • Bold Text
    Example: [b]Bold[/b]
  • Italic Text
    Example: [i]Italics[/i]
  • Underlined Text
    Example: [u]Underlined[/u]
  • Website link
    Link to another website or URL
    Example: [url][/url]

Rate this talk with three clicks. You can choose 3 words, or vote for the same word 3 times.

Why sign up for the iai?
  • All you can watch
    Unlimited access to hundreds of hours of debates and talks from the world's leading minds, all for free.
  • Have your say
    Join the iai community and engage in conversation and debate around the issues that matter.
  • Hear it first
    Be the first to hear about our video releases, articles and tickets to our festival HowTheLightGetsIn.