Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English and Writing Studies



First Reader/Committee Chair

Marshall, David


Jane Austen, beloved national literary icon of Great Britain, is world-renowned for her fiction. Biographers have attempted to authentically piece together her life and often, try to connect her narrative to when and how her fiction was written, as well as point out circumstances within her personal life and speculate their influence on her work. Literary analysts and critics that have examined the historical narrative process, Hayden White and Kevin Gilvary, have found that the way in which a historical account is presented plays a significant role in how history is understood and perpetuated. When examining Jane Austen’s life, many overlook how much her fiction plays a role in the narrative her biographers write and what those implications do to how she is perceived and understood. In this work, I examine the different strategies biographers use to construct Jane Austen’s personal narrative and how often they rely on biographical fallacy or their own ideologies in order to create her narrative. By questioning these methods of biographical structuring I question how the discourse shapes the meaning-making process of non-fiction historical literature and figures like Jane Austen, and extend the scholarly conversation to consider alternative ways for literary and historical inquiry.