Nineteenth Century History: 1810-1820 {Romanticism and Jane Austin}

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The 1810s were a busy time with George III officially being recognised as insane; the United States Congress declaring war on Britain; the Great (financial) Panic of 1819; Queen Victoria’s birth and the Napoleonic wars coming to an end.  As you can see, a whole heap of important events occurred during the early 19th century, but the movement which appealed to me the most was Romanticism.

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850 (Wikipedia)

As Jane Austen was very much part of this movement, and as she published two of her most well known novels (Pride and Prejudice & Emma) during this decade, I thought she would be a perfect focal point for this week.  However, we wouldn’t just be studying the life and times of this author, oh no!  We would also be reading Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ (Thomas), Victor Hugo’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre dame’ (Charlotte), the fairy tales of the brothers Grimm (A8 and B5), ending the week with a simple Georgian tea party.  I just knew it would be a great week.

Read Aloud Text 

We had read out loud Pride and Prejudice, the girls taking turns to read, over the summer and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Charlotte, as part of her self directed learning is carrying out author studies on all her favourite authors, so with this in mind, I bought a Jane Austen biography for her to read.  This was a great addition:

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Another great resource to add to her biography study was Becoming Jane, a film based on her life:capture

Jane Austen’s Works

We own the entire collection of Jane Austen which the girls and I have already read:

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We also own most of the televised series of her books which we decided to have a movie fest for a week:

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Charlotte needs to be very familiar with Pride and Prejudice, so we watched that first and she reread an annotated version she obtained from her English teacher.

Jane Austen Activities

We visited the house Jane lived in whilst she was growing up (also over last summer):

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and had a fab time dressing up, writing with a feather pen, and making some pot pourri bags from dried lavender ( click on the picture if you would like to see all the photos we took of her house):

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Jane Austen Tea Party

I posted yesterday about the twin’s Jane Austen tea party.  Needless to say, it was a huge hit among the old and young alike:

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Click on the picture below to be taken to the post I wrote detailing the tea party in its entirety:

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Other Romanticism work we completed this week

  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)

As this study was fairly feminine in nature, and whilst I did think of forcing (!) my almost 6 foot son into studying it with us, I found myself, instead, offering him Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

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Mary Shelly was somewhat of a radical in her times often speaking out against the romanticism of her times.  I kinda thought Thomas might enjoy that and of course the science fiction element was always going to appeal.  I figured he and Gary could watch the dvd of the book once he had finished reading it (and not before):

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He read the book in little over a day 🙂  I think he must have enjoyed it greatly because when asked to give a one minute sum up of the plot to Granny and I at the aforementioned tea party he talked for at least ten minutes:

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I have neither read nor watched anything to do with Frankenstein and was under the misapprehension that it was the creature on the front cover who was Frankenstein, but no, it was the person who made him to begin with.  Needless to say I was a little confused for the first couple of minutes…..it doesn’t take much 😉

Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor Hugo)

At an angle so I had as much of the building in without the plastic and metal scaffolding outside

Set in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris (where we visited a couple of years ago and the picture above is of it at a rather weird angle) this is the very well known Gothic novel of Hugo.  Charlotte has been begging me to read it, so I gave her the book as a present and just as a bit of fun watched the Disney rendition of the same story:

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Further Resources

Jane Austen Copywork {Review of Homeschool Copywork}

The official Jane Austen Website {you need to join to have access to all their treasures but joining is absolutely free}

Homeschooling the Middle & High School YearsWeekly Wrap-Up

3 comments

  1. I have not read Frankenstein, but have been in the sci-fi world enough to hear the rants about Frankenstein’s monster, not Frankenstein from authors and fans alike, which greatly amuses me. My kids have absorbed that one random fact into their collective knowledge.
    You might look at the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a graphic novel/movie if you plan on reading significantly more books from this era, as a look into how they are perceived in popular culture (it’s got characters from most of the early sci-fi/horror novels).

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