Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, a Treasure Trove of Sorts

I had a long list of books to read over the holidays, but I must admit that I was less diligent than I would have liked. In the end, I am ashamed to admit that I only got through half a volume, but what a volume it was. Mr Claus, who knows me very well, [...]


Siblings in Jane Austen’s novels: a Thanksgiving special

Every week I spend a minute of unbridled joy answering the quiz sent out by the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. It’s always challenging, even for seasoned Janeites, so I was delighted to get a full 10/10 on the last one. It was about families, and specifically siblings, in Jane Austen's novels. I had never [...]

Animals in Jane Austen’s novels

Jane Austen enjoyed writing about life in the countryside. In all of her novels give us generous glances of what rural life was like during the Regency beyond the usual pursuits of ladies and gentlemen of the gentry. Her books often brief the reader on the weather, the harvest and the seasons, and we also get [...]

7 things that Jane Austen’s novels teach us about servants and their masters

Jane Austen lived at a time where servants were numerous and pervasive. Most of her characters employ people to run their homes and tend to their needs, and footmen, housekeepers, maids, and manservants are a constant background presence in Austen’s novels. In some cases, Jane Austen mentions servants in passing, to add depth to her [...]

The many accomplishments of young ladies in Jane Austen Novels

Several words pop up all the time in Jane Austen’s novels: ‘fine,' ‘nice,' ‘civil,' ‘pleasant’ and ‘elegant’ immediately come to mind. But my personal favourite is ‘accomplished,' a word that comes up over and over again, particularly when referring to young ladies. While in the XVIII century the education of young women of genteel families [...]

Mansfield Park, or Jane Austen’s distorting mirror show

Those following me on social media may have noticed my sudden interest in everything Mansfield Park, from the excellent audiobook version read by Karen Savage to the articles I have been posting on the novel and its characters. The fact is that I'm re-reading Mansfield Park while writing the follow-up to Miss Darcy's Beaux in [...]

Lost Love in Jane Austen

This article is part of Austen in August, a celebration of all things Austen.  Many believe that Jane Austen wrote romantic novels. Janeites, of course, know that Austen’s works are much more than that. Austen is a romantic, yes, but she’s also a social chronicler with a sharp eye for detail, a witty observer of [...]