Guest Lecture: Jane Austen – Master Paintings & Lost Books


event Details

Texas-based professor and writer Janine Barchas visits Auckland to present her richly illustrated new publication The Lost Books of Jane Austen. This will be a jam-packed illustrated talk in which serious bibliography meets Antiques Roadshow and 19th-century book design.

Her talk will begin by shining a light on the master paintings that feature on modern Austen book covers and on the walls of galleries during the Regency. Barchas created What Jane Saw, a website that invites you to time-travel to two art exhibitions witnessed by Jane Austen in 1796 and 1813. Next, she will take you on a journey to the windy railway stations of 1840s Britain, where cheap reprints of novels such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice were sold from Victorian book stalls in formats resembling modern paperbacks. These shoddy, inauthentic editions helped create an Austen fan base amongst the working class, and thus did the heavy lifting of making her canonical. Barchas’ research proves that these neglected lowly books are important records of Austen’s early reception among ordinary readers.

About Janine Barchas

Janine Barchas is the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor in English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity and the prize-winning Graphic Design, Print Culture, and the Eighteenth-Century Novel. She is also the creator behind the website What Jane Saw and has written for popular audiences in The Washington Post and New York Times. Her new book about unsung editions, entitled The Lost Books of Jane Austen, will be released by Johns Hopkins University Press this October.

Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium
$15 Members, $25 non-Members
Book now