Jane and Mary, a board game [abstract]
University of Missouri-Columbia. Office of Undergraduate Research
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In the reading of novels of the Georgian era, one not only follows a story line, but happens upon a wealth of knowledge about the authors and the social and political climate of the time period in which the novels take place. From biographies, reviews and conduct codes, the reader also learns how society greeted these novels, the growing acceptance of novels, and the expectations placed on women during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This information is essential to disseminating and analyzing these novels. I decided to create a board game that would allow students a glimpse into Georgian life. The game consists of questions about the life of the authors and the social climate and issues faced by people during the late 18th century. Because this information is not isolated but crosses over from novel to novel, it is perhaps more important to study these issues than the genre, the plot and plot devices. I focused on the life and works of Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft because of their contrastive approaches to and responses of this climate. The game consists of three different sets of questions. In the first set, the player is presented with a situation that could have occurred in the 18th-19th centuries and is expected to find the answer that would be the most "proper" response for the period. This way, the game becomes more than just "trivial pursuit," allowing the players a personal view into the time period. The second set of questions is based on the history of England in the 18th-19th centuries, including the importance of and issues caused by money and marriage. A third set of questions consists of biographies, as knowledge of the personal life of an author lends better insight into the understanding of her novels.