This Holiday of Spirits”: Jane Austen, Courtly Love, and Happy Endings

LECTURE ONE: Jane Austen and Accusations Against Happy Endings
Are happy endings—whether in Jane Austen’s novels or in fairy tales like “Cinderella” or “Hansel and Gretel”—childish, escapist, or even dangerous? Or is there a great deal more to “and they lived happily ever after”?

LECTURE TWO: Jane Austen and Chivalric Elevation in Emma
In this lecture, Dr. Schubert addresses “Chivalric Elevation.” While we can fix our attention on Emma’s transformation over the course of the novel, she is not the only one undergoing deep change.

LECTURE THREE: Emma and the Happy Ending
In this lecture, Dr. Schubert again looks at Jane Austen’s novel Emma, addressing “Emma and the Happy Ending.” What exactly is a “happy” ending? And how does the happy ending shape the entire story from its beginning?

LECTURE FOUR: Chivalric Service and Eternal Love in Austen’s Persuasion
When Fredrich Wentworth, now a captain in the Royal Navy, returns from sea after eight years, Anne Elliot, his former fiancé is not sure what to think or do. Dr. Schubert addresses their story in “Chivalric Service and Eternal Love in Persuasion.”

LECTURE FIVE: Wonderous Deliverance and Justice in the Happy Ending
As any of Jane Austen’s readers (or movie watchers) know, not all of her characters are happy in the end. In this lecture, Dr. Schubert explains how and why Austen distinguishes between the virtuous and those who are villainous, vain, or foolish.

LECTURE SIX: An Education in Joy
In this final session, Dr. Schubert argues that the happy endings in Jane Austen’s novels are “An Education in Joy.” While that may seem somehow contradictory, Austen’s vision invites us be the kind of people to whom joy comes naturally.