About me

Photo by Shannon George

My books include Jane Austen’s Philosophy of the Virtues, a history of St. Paul’s Church (where Jane Austen’s niece Cassy Austen was baptized), and a critical edition of Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel The Custom of the Country.

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After I completed my Ph.D. in English Literature at Dalhousie University, I spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, and then I taught classes on Jane Austen in the Writing Program at Harvard University. I’m currently working on a novel, and for the past several years, I’ve been volunteering with Project Bookmark Canada.

From December 2017 to June 2018, I hosted a blog series called “Youth and Experience,” celebrating 200 years of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. In the past, I’ve hosted celebrations in honour of Austen’s Emma and Mansfield Park.

Favourite Posts

Jane Austen’s “Darling Child” Meets the World: on the publication of Pride and Prejudice in 1813.

Why is Mr. Darcy So Attractive? (in the novel, not the movies).

Mansfield Park is a Tragedy, Not a Comedy: on the tragic action of Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Austens in Bermuda and Nova Scotia: photos of places Jane Austen’s brothers Charles and Francis Austen and their families visited during their time on the North American Station of the British Royal Navy.

What Edith Wharton Tells Us About the Way We Live Now: on The Custom of the Country.

Spring in Rainbow Valley: on L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valley, with photos from a trip to Prince Edward Island.

“She knew that a hard struggle was before her”: Emily’s Quest: “After this I’m just going to write what I want to,” says L.M. Montgomery’s heroine Emily Starr.

The Republic of Love Bookmark and the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth: “Think instead of the stories you like to read, or better yet, the story you would like to read but can’t find.” – Carol Shields

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia

© Sarah Emsley, 2023

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