Jane Austen and the Slave Trade

March 30, 2021

Jane Austen’s England was conflicted and divided over the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Austen rarely mentions it in her writing but there are intriguing references in her novels Mansfield Park and Emma. The lives and works of her favourite authors may contain clues to her own attitude; and she claims to have been once “in love” with that most active abolitionist, Thomas Clarkson. This recording of a live online talk by actor and writer Karin Fernald explores these and other clues, to examine what we can conclude about the novelist’s attitudes to an issue which was highly relevant in her time, as it is in ours today.

 Karin Fernald

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