Jane Austen anniversary event: Sleep & Sleeplessness in Austen

What is Fanny Price’s bed-time? Why can’t Catherine Moreland sleep? Why can’t Lady Bertram stay awake? And what general significance does Jane Austen attach to the sleeping habits and nocturnal adventures of her heroes and heroines? Covering a wide range of examples from Northanger Abbey to Persuasion, Dr Michael Greaney uncovers a subtle but persistent preoccupation with sleep and sleeplessness in Austen’s literary career, and will suggest that human slumber represents an unpredictable force operating at the edge of her tightly regulated social worlds.
Dr Michael Greaney is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.