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Hilary McGraw

Posted: 1st April 2015
Category: Writers' Hub
Hilary McGraw

Favourite Jane Austen book: Sense and Sensibility, Specialism: Perceptions of female agency and friendship in Classical Literature.

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While my professional studies are focused more on representations of historical women from the ancient world, I am also interested in the ways female literary figures can be used to understand modern notions of femininity and empowerment, be it through the intellectual lens of the classroom or more pop-culture focused cinematic adaptations.


My goal with this blog is to explore how Jane Austen’s characters, along with other 19th century heroines, have been used to illustrate the challenges, expectations, and opportunities available to certain classes of women both then and now. It is the way people have reacted to Jane Austen’s characters over time, as well as the character’s themselves, that I wish to investigate through this forum.


Like many others, my affection for Jane Austen’s work is emotional as well as intellectual. My mother first introduced me to her stories when I was a young girl, so I have a great sense of nostalgia entwined with all my other opinions and feelings of Jane and her amazing characters.


I am interested in the complex reasons for why her stories have remained poignant and popular examples of the ‘female experience’. I look forward to contributing, at least in some small way, to this ongoing dialogue at the Jane Austen Detectives and am honor ed to have the opportunity to be part of a project that continues to not only celebrate, but study, Jane Austen’s work and legacy.



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