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Research Stories

A Delightful Semester with Jane Austen [Research Stories]

–This post is written by UHPers Hannah Wendling and Madison Boggs, who served as research assistants to Professor Frawley this semester.  Prof. Frawley is also the director of the University Honors Program.

Under the benevolent direction of Professor Frawley, Hannah Wendling and Madison Boggs have spent a very agreeable semester researching the revealing vocabulary of Jane Austen.

Hannah and Madison have spent the majority of their time cataloging the significant keywords that Professor Frawley has selected to discuss and analyze in her prospective book, Keywords of Jane Austen’s Fiction.  These keywords are used consistently throughout Austen’s novels and generally convey specific meanings and sentiments.  They express Austen’s didactic intentions and oftentimes reflect her personal values.  In order to gain greater insight into Austen’s literary choices, Hannah, Madison, and Professor Frawley have also been examining material written in Austen’s time that may have affected her work or view of society.  In particular, they are reading through Samuel Johnson’s Rambler essays, noting similarities in theme and opinion between these essays and Austen’s novels, and recording any instances where Austen may have been influenced or affected by Johnson’s assertions.

In April, Hannah and Madison were awarded a Gamow Fellowship in order to continue their research into the summer. They have found this research truly delightful, and continue to approach their work with lively enthusiasm.  Hannah and Madison look forward to spending an amiable summer rereading their favorite novels, exploring Jane Austen’s superior taste, and aiding Professor Frawley in identifying words of consequence.

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