Nearly two centuries after her death, Jane Austen remains the most beloved of novelists in the English language, incomparable in the wit, warmth and insight with which she chronicles the wayward hearts of her unforgettable characters. Her work also offers a vivid depiction of rural life in late Georgian and Regency England, its country balls and ivy-covered vicarages, its social hierarchies and its anxieties about property and income. Yet the milieu Austen depicted is only one aspect of her era. For 29 of her 41 years the country was embroiled in war. Dramatic changes in industry and agriculture were transforming the country's physical and social landscape. This book offers a new view of her world in a wide-ranging and detailed social history of English life in the early nineteenth century, from weddings to childbearing, from education to fashion, from labor to leisure and finally to the rituals of death.--From publisher description.… (more)
To Anne and David Barclay For their friendship, support and encouragement
(Introduction) The place is an austere, wartime England.
On a bitterly cold Norfolk morning in January 1787, Parson James Woodforde left the comfort of his rectory at Weston Longville and rode on horseback over a mile and a half along a muddy lane until he reached the imposing church of St Peter in the village of Ringland.
Her books live on as classics of the art of the novelist and as a constant reminder of herself, her contemporaries and an England that has passed.