The Female Fantasy (02:21)
This debate focuses on determining whether Virginia Woolf or Jane Austin's heroines were more realistic. Peter Curran introduces the panelists: Doon Mackichan, Malcolm Guite, and Francis Spalding.
The Pitch: Frances Spalding (03:29)
Spalding discusses how time and societal advancements impacted Woolf's literature. She reads a passage from "The Waves" that demonstrates the inner flow of a woman's consciousness.
The Pitch: Malcolm Guite (03:25)
No man knows what women discuss in private. Guite explains how Austen's words affect a male reader. Rudyard Kipling wrote "The Janeites" a short story about a group of World War I veterans that console themselves by reading Austen's words.
The Pitch: Doon Mackichan (02:18)
Woolf once remarked that if Austen had lived longer, her writing would have deepened. Austen's prose includes very little internal monologue and uses humor as a coping mechanism. Mackichan finds both women radical in different ways.
Theme One: What Does Woolf's Writing Reveal? (18:31)
In "A Room of One's Own," Woolf explores how women are not allowed to attend universities. University College-London and Trinity College began offering honorary degrees to women in response. Austen would write at night and read aloud to the nieces and nephews she cared for the next day.
Theme Two: What Does Austen's Character's Reveal? (06:16)
Austen had revolutionary thoughts for the time period. Spalding discusses a ballet performed at the Royal Opera House based upon Woolf's writing and an exhibition on the writer at the National Portrait Gallery.
Theme Three: Can Women Characters in Fiction Influence Change? (06:41)
"Three Guineas" which advocated for social justice. Guite explains that in Austen's work, men learn how ridiculous they appear at times and in Woolf's work empathy. Mr. Knightley and Emma could intellectually spar with each other.
Credits: Austen vs. Woolf (00:19)
Credits: Austen vs. Woolf
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