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Austen vs Woolf:

The female fantasy

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  • 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?
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JamesKnight on 29/01/2016 4:47pm

@EmmyF

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.

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