Congratulations are in order for Sarum graduate The Rev Prebendary Paula Hollingsworth, author of The Spirituality of Jane Austen: Her Faith Through her Life, Letters and Literature.
Paula completed her MA in Christian Spirituality in 2007, and wrote her dissertation on Jane Austen.
‘A lot of invitations to speak followed,’ says Paula. ‘One of which was the invitation to write a book for Lion Hudson.
‘I really valued the MA course in Christian Spirituality, particularly the way that the modules were held as residential blocks that enabled you to get deeply into the subject, and have good in-depth discussions with other course members over meals and in the bar at the end of the day,’ says Paula. ‘I also appreciated the variety of modules – and in fact audited a number of them, as I wanted to do more modules than I needed. I did particularly enjoy the module on Literature and Spirituality. I have subsequently used much of what I learned on the course in sermons, lectures and Quiet Days – using material from all parts of the course, not just from my dissertation on Jane Austen!’
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, whose six completed novels have never been out of print. Best known for her novels, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Mansfield Park’, and ‘Emma’, first published anonymously, Austen commented, critiqued and illuminated the life of the English upper classes. But did Austen’s writings highlight anything about her own spirituality? In this celebratory book, Paula Hollingsworth explores Jane Austen’s gentle but strong faith and the effect it had both on her life and her writing. Drawing on Jane’s life story, her letters, her friendships, her books and the characters portrayed, Paula shows the depth of Jane Austen’s spirituality.