Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Kathleen McCormack

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

James Sutton

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jason Pearl

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


English, Literature, Jane Austen, landscape parks, gardens

Date of Defense



This thesis examines the function of specific garden features in Jane Austen’s novels, particularly in the seminal texts Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Male power, politics and land ownership dominated eighteenth-century society. Despite this, Austen’s woman protagonists utilize the tree avenues feature of landscape parks, voicing a need to redefine moral responsibility associated with land ownership. This thesis draws on the literary theories of gender studies and ecocriticism to examine garden spaces in Austen’s texts, though the primary focus of the investigation relies on exploring the primary texts themselves with a historical approach. In addition to this secondary critical scholarship, this thesis utilizes resources such as eighteenth century garden histories and guides, background information on specific gardeners of the period, and typical landscape garden features as evidence.





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