Jane Austen’s possessions and dispossessions
In Jane Austen’s Possessions and Dispossessions, Byrne argues that an understanding of the contemporary significance of material objects is vital to an understanding of Jane Austen’s fiction, and that Austen’s narratives deploy material objects in the service of characterisation as well as plot.
The first section looks at some of the material objects owned, treasured, and lost by Jane Austen and her family. Whilst not a biographical reading of the novels, the study acknowledges that dispossession is a note-worthy theme in Austen’s letters as well as her fiction.
The second section examines the representation, description, ownership, gain, and loss of material objects in Austen’s novels.
Byrne is currently working on a comparison of the representation of natural and cultivated landscapes in the work of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, to be called 'Exit pursued by Gypsies'.