Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English



First Advisor

Carnell, Rachel

Subject Headings

British and Irish Literature


During the eighteenth-century, philosophers gave primacy to rationality specifying that reason could and should control emotions; they observed a friction between thought and feeling, rational and irrational, emotion and cognition, mind and body, which competed and united in a way that influenced the eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century thought and experience on many sides. As an early nineteenth-century novelist, Jane Austen explores the relationship between emotion and cognition. I argue that Austen shows the importance of bodily experience of emotion in moral development. Deploying affect theory will illuminate Austen’s depiction of emotions as a mode of understanding of how the body becomes the place for knowledge and experience.