Jane Austen’s Journeys
About the Book
A study of travel in Austen’s works, within the context of the period’s excitement for travel
Jane Austen lived in an exciting age for travel. Improvements to roads and carriages meant that more people than ever were taking journeys for pleasure, to view picturesque scenery, to visit a spa town or the seaside, or to stay with distant relatives. The Austen family was very much part of this trend, and Jane was familiar with most of the counties of southern England, from Kent in the east to Devon in the west, and as far north as Staffordshire. With one exception, all of her heroines leave home at some point in their story to travel to a different part of the country and, even in Emma, where the heroine remains in her village, other characters travel about in quest of health, amusement, or a marriage partner. Hazel Jones provides the context for this rage for travel, drawing on a wide range of archives and contemporary printed material, as well as on Jane Austen’s own letters and novels. From maps to inns, from traveling dress to turnpikes, every detail is brought vividly before the reader’s eyes.