Lecture, Central London, Wednesday, 5 Apr 2023 - 18:00

Endings in the Novel, from Austen and Dickens to Edward St Aubyn and Rachel Cusk

black and white photograph of a married couple

More than anything else, the end matters to the novel reader. Novelists, including Austen and Dickens, sometimes changed their minds about their endings, using these changes of mind to explore how an ending satisfies, or fails to satisfy, our expectations.

The lecture will explore the rise of the indeterminate ending, from Henry James on. And it will suggest how an ending can, for worse as well as for better, retrospectively change our experience of a novel.

John Mullan, Visiting Professor of English Literature

Professor John Mullan

Visiting Professor of English Literature

Professor John Mullan is the Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature at University College London. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century literature and is at present writing the volume of the Oxford English Literary History that will cover the period from 1709 to 1784.

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