Jane Austen's England
Jane Austen wrote about the English gentry class in the late Georgian and Regency periods (1796-1816). Her novels follow her heroines' quest for true love and fulfilment in English society during a period of great upheaval. But how accurate were Jane Austen's depictions of life in England? Was marriage really the only ambition for women at that time? Were all men as dominant and powerful as Sir Thomas Bertram in Mansfield Park? What was it like to live in a society governed by strict codes of etiquette and conduct? How did men and women of the 'gentler classes' relate to each other? How accurate was the description of Bath in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion? Was London really as corrupt and immoral a place as suggested in Mansfield Park? Was country life really as insular as it is depicted in Emma? Helen Amy draws on Austen's life and works, traces her travels around the country and features places of significance to her whilst also examining English society's apparent obsessions with fashion, entertainments, courtship and manners.
Jane Austen's England features chapters on London, Bath, Cheltenham, Winchester, Steventon, Chawton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Lyme Regis, Brighton and Worthing together with the grand country houses, such as Godmersham House, The Vyne and Stoneleigh Abbey which inspired Austen's fictional houses. Helen Amy opens a window onto this fascinating period of history examining the places and material culture of the times, together with over 150 superb period illustrations and colour photographs.