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Jane Austen and Maternal History: Uncovering the Leigh family archive

Project Member(s): Spongberg, M.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2017

Summary: Family relationships are central to the novels of Jane Austen (1775-1817), yet we know little about the women of her own family. Austen’s mother’s family, the Leighs, left extensive archival materials pertaining to their history, evidence which has until now largely been ignored by Austen scholars. Using detailed archival research this project aims to recover and reposition the Leigh family in Austen biography, and to read Austen’s juvenilia and novels as informed by and contributing to this history. The outcome of this project will be a better understanding of Jane Austen’s life and the impact of family history on the writing of her novels.

FOR Codes: British History, British and Irish Literature, Languages and Literature, Understanding Europe's Past, Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture