Wednesday 16 May 2007

Wot? No Jane Austen?

Having been delighted about the prospect of a Jane Austen centred exam today, you can imagine how aghast I was when said best-novelist-of-the-period-if-not-ever was not named in any of the questions. Tut tut. Anyway, I got her in there somewhere.

Oh, and I have a new carnation now. Lovely it is, too.

Questions for today (1740-1832)

Discuss any one of the following in literature of the period: art criticism; Unitarianism; ballads; parody; Irishness; the cult of the picturesque; forgery; travel; hallucinations
-Thought I'd include this motley crew in its entirety, as the utterly arbitrary nature of the rag bag amuses me. I went for travel, as I wanted to write on the l
inks between travel and the Romantic Imagination, esp. Keats. Another one not given his own question, for the first time in many years.

'My sister, my sweet sister...' (Byron, 'Epistle to Augusta'). Examine the treatment of sibling relationships in the work of any writer or writers of the period
-I wanted to write on Austen and letters, but nowhere to stick that. A while ago I did an essay on heroes as fraternal, in Austen, so that went in... and I used letters as the boundary between fraternal and lover, as they were only socially permissible betwee siblings, and the engaged. Definitely a "Hmm" question.

'You say that I want somebody to elucidate my ideas, but you ought to know that what is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care' (Blake)
-the first 8 questions are to 'provide the theme of essays on any authors or works of the period, not necessarily those from which the quotation is drawn'. So I wrote on social and linguistic placement in Sheridan and Goldsmith.

Half-way now, folks.


  1. Sounds like the non-appearance of Ms Austen didn't wrong foot you too much. Have no comment on the questions, other than that last one - what exactly was the question? I am sure one day we can find time over a nice cup of tea and a plate of dainties and you can enlighten me on exactly what linguistic placement is! Enjoy today!

  2. Can't believe how grueling your exam is compared to what I had to endure. I complained about a one day, multiple hour, comprehensive exam and here you are with day after day of it. I truly am a whiner, because that one exam nearly did me in! We were given sample questions that may or may not be on the exam, and I prepared my best from that. Of course the ones I felt most comfortable with *weren't* on the cumulative exam. Still, I scraped by and earned my B.A., so I guess that's what matters.

    But I know YOU'RE doing spendidly! Best of luck with what's remaining.



I've now moved to, and all my old posts are over there too - do come and say hello :)

I probably won't see your comment here, I'm afraid, but all my archive posts can also be found at