Quite a Horror of Finery – Keynote Speaker

The Fashion of Female Characters in Austen's Novels

What is the relationship between outer and inner beauty in Austen’s novels? On the one hand, the author satirizes the preoccupation with self-display fueled by vanity and social maneuvering, but the good-natured Musgrove sisters “liv[e] to be fashionable, happy, and merry” and Austen herself shows a passion for fashion in her letters. Dr. Anderson will explore how the personal styles of Austen's female characters reflect their inward traits and motives, and whether their mode of “finery” ruptures or reinforces the social fabric. There will be a fashion survey with prizes and a lively discussion.

Bio

Kathleen Anderson is the author of Jane Austen's Women: An Introduction (State University of New York Press, 2018), and co-author of Jane Austen's Guide to Thrift: An Independent Woman's Advice on Living Within One's Means (Berkley Books, 2013). Her numerous essays have appeared in academic and popular publications as diverse as Persuasions: The Jane Austen JournalThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Journal of Feminist ScholarshipThe Huffington Post, Christianity Today, and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Anderson earned her A.B. at Harvard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Formerly Professor of English and Research Fellow in the Arts and Humanities at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she is now a full-time writer. Dr. Anderson loves the arts, dance, interior design, and Swedish humor. She finds inspiration in meeting Jane Austen-lovers from all walks of life.