Monday, 5 December 2016

GEORGE WICKHAM'S SECRET IS OUT!

Adrian Lukis as Wickham (1995)
It is a pleasure for me to have been invited here to share a moment with you, dear readers, in between campaigns. Indeed, what better excuse to bid my dearest Lydia a fond farewell and retire to my rooms, take up my pen and note down a little something that I hope you might enjoy.

What, though, might a man, a soldier such as I, share with visitors to a salon so esteemed as this? What could I possibly know that might entertain you, might give you reason to afford me a smile?

Well, I turned my mind to this whilst strolling with Lydia in Hyde Park, looking out over the Serpentine that was so quiet now with winter drawing in. The horses thundered on Rotten Row, the carriages rattling this way and that but everyone was, of course, fully and firmly clad.

Twas not always so.

And I was not always a respectable married fellow, nor were all my days passed in boyish play with my brother and friend, Mr Darcy. I know that you will find it hard to countenance, dear reader, but even I, George Wickham, had my moments of bawdiness.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH ... HELENA KELLY, AUTHOR OF JANE AUSTEN THE SECRET RADICAL

Her just released  Jane Austen the Secret Radical  has been animating a new interesting debate around our beloved Regency lady. Helena Kelly has been under the spotlight in the latest days as the author of this interesting non-fiction book which uncovers Jane Austen as a radical, spirited and politically engaged woman writer. So those who have in their minds the tranquil, smiling woman on the new £10 pound banknote apparently got everything wrong about her.  

After receiving my review copy of this brilliant work and after reading its original analysis, I ended up with a few questions to ask Helena Kelly so I wrote them down and was graciously granted the answers. 

I must thank Helena for her kindness and generosity in the fuss that must have been the promotion of her book in the first days after the release. There have been reviews and interviews even in the major press, but she could find some spare time and answered my questions!  Here I am now, happy and proud,  to share my little interview with you.
Maria Grazia

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Hello Helena and welcome to our online Jane Austen book club! My first question is … I’ve always thought Jane Austen was rather revolutionary, but now you’ve taken a step ahead of me: a radical?

Hello, and thank you for inviting me! The title Jane Austen the Secret Radical isn’t actually mine, but it is a good choice for the book. I don’t know that Austen wanted to overturn things, but she did want to dig down and examine them, to show people how they actually worked, and that’s what radicalism is about, isn’t it, getting down to the ‘radix’, the root of things.

Friday, 18 November 2016

REGINA JEFFERS, ANNUITIES IN THE REGENCY ERA AS THE BASIS OF THE PLOT OF 'MR DARCY'S BARGAIN' + GIVEAWAY

Much of the action of latest release,  Mr. Darcy's Bargain, is based around a scam perpetrated by Mr. Wickham upon the citizens of Meryton, as well as Mr. Darcy's attempts to thwart him. Wickham convinces many in Hertfordshire to invest in an annuity scheme. But how exactly did annuities work during the Regency?

First, if you are like me, your eyes blur over when people in other fields start tossing around the "jargon" associated with their occupations. I do not pretend to be an expert in such matters as annuities, but I will attempt to keep my description of public funds at the time as simple as possible.

First, there were Navy five percent annuities that were produced from about fifty millions of stock, partly formed out of navy bills and converted in 1784, into a stock bearing interest at five percent, whence the name.

Four percent consolidated annuities were popular at the time. They were produced from a like stock as was the Navy five percent funds. They offered a profit of 4% as the title indicated. They originally carried a higher percentage rate.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A JOURNEY FROM DUTY TO LOVE: MR BENNET'S DUTIFUL DAUGHTER BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY


A new great blog tour premieres today  at My Jane Austen Book Club.  Joana Starnes is here to present her latest Pride and Prejudice tale: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter. Enjoy her wondeful guest post and... may I wish you good luck in the giveaway contest?  


Thank you, Maria Grazia, for your kind welcome at My Jane Austen Book Club today to launch the blog tour for my latest book, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, with an invitation to Netherfield.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ... MERYTON VIGNETTES: TALES OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE BY ELIZABETH ADAMS


Mrs. Bennet makes a shocking discovery.
Caroline Bingley learns there’s more to life than chasing after Darcy. 
Elizabeth must navigate a situation she never thought she would find herself in. 
What becomes of Longbourn when the Collins family inherits?
Does Lydia ever realize the error of her ways? 


In this collection of six short stories, the people of Pride and Prejudice move on, grow up, and explore paths not taken. Time leads these beloved characters down roads of self-discovery, courage, and heartbreak. 

And sometimes the journey takes them to surprising places.





 Read an excerpt from "Life After Darcy"
  
Really, what did they expect her to do? Simply move on? Pretend he hadn’t existed? That she hadn’t imagined what their life would be like in the future? Spending summers at Pemberley and the season in town, going to Italy for their ten-year anniversary, presenting their daughters at court, dancing at their son’s wedding. Did they really expect her to just forget it all? Forget him?
Well, she would not. She may not have always loved him as she should, as she did now, but her heart had finally opened and she was not about to give up on this peculiar feeling, no matter what her sister said to her.

Monday, 7 November 2016

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED FOR JANE AUSTEN TRAVEL GUIDE



TILBURG, 7 November 2016 – Het England van Jane Austen (Jane Austen’s England) is the first – and only – travel guide devoted to exploring locations in England that have a unique connection with either Austen herself, her work, and/or the adaptations of her books. But it is now only available in Dutch. Author Karin Quint and Gottmer Publishing Group announced today that they are launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish an English translation of the popular travel guide.

Het Engeland van Jane Austen was written by Karin Quint, a Dutch journalist, photographer and founder of JaneAusten.nl – the only Dutch-language website devoted to the beloved author. ‘I often received requests for information from people who wanted to visit locations associated with her,’ says Quint. ‘It made me realise there was nothing like this out there.’  In 2013 she travelled almost three months through England, researching over 200 locations connected with Jane Austen’s life, books, and the film adaptations of her work. Het Engeland van Jane Austen was published in the spring of 2014 by the renowned Dutch publisher Gottmer. In response to public demand, a second edition was published in July 2016.

Friday, 4 November 2016

MR BENNET'S DUTIFUL DAUGHTER BY JOANA STARNES - COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY


Book Description

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

On the cover


The portrait on Joana’s new book is titled Portrait of Miss Frances Vinicombe
It’s an oil on canvas that measures 92x71 cm. The portrait painting, ranked 2nd most prestigious genre by the French Académie de peinture et de sculpture, depicts the visual appearance of a human subject. While portraitists often strive for exact likeness, the viewer's recognition of the subject is of primary importance. It was common for artists to alter the image to accentuate or minimize the subject's physical, psychological or social traits. Traditionally, portrait paintings have memorialized the rich and powerful. Overtime, however, it became more common for middle-class individuals to commission portraits of their families and colleagues.  

John Opie was a British landscape and portrait artist, who painted quite a few famous people, including the author, Mary Wollstonecraft. (see image below)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

DARCY'S HOPE ~ BEAUTY FROM ASHES, A GREAT WAR ROMANCE - AUTHOR INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY



 Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes
A WW1 Pride & Prejudice Variation
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Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You'll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.
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1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet's life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives....

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

AUTHOR DENISE STOUT VISITED THE WILL & JANE EXHIBIT IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Denise Stout is an enthusiastic Janeite who was lucky enough to be able to visit the exhibition,  Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen and the Cult of Celebrity at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She knows I'd have willingly joined her if only I didn't live on the other side of the pond, so she was so kind and generous to write a report for me personally and agreed to post it here at My Jane Austen Book Club. I hope you'll enjoy reading her musings as much as I did and will appreciate the pictures she sent me. Thank you, Denise! 

                When I first learned of the Will & Jane exhibit at the Folger, I knew I had to go. Living so close to Washington, D.C., the opportunity to view the items on display, especially the undergarment* worn by a favorite Mr. Darcy, Colin Firth, and known colloquially as The Shirt, was more than a goal, it became a must-see. As the weeks passed by, it seemed like the visit wouldn’t happen. My husband surprised me when he announced he would take off on a Friday to accompany me. He travels the Metro frequently, so there was little chance of missing the stop or riding the wrong line to the Capitol area.

Monday, 17 October 2016

LETTER FROM RAMSGATE BLOG TOUR: AUTHOR GUEST POST, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone! I'm glad to open a new blog tour for a new Pride and Prejudice variation. There's never too much Mr Darcy & Elizabeth in our lives and Suzan Lauder knows it!  Today she is my guest again  with a new great post. Enjoy your cup of tea!

About the book

Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister...
...a simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!
On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother’s “close friend” Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth’s altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.
The secret within an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?
Letter from Ramsgate is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).

Saturday, 8 October 2016

THE MANY LIVES OF FITZWILLIAM DARCY BLOG TOUR & GREAT GIVEAWAY


After Fitzwilliam Darcy finds his suit rejected by the only woman in the world he would ever marry, he looks to make a quick exit out of Kent and go back to his life before he met Elizabeth Bennet. Yet, when he wakes the next day he discovers that getting back to everything he still holds dear may be more challenging than he ever imagined. What if finding his way back means getting another chance to win Elizabeth’s love?

Beau North and Brooke West, co-authors of Holiday Mix Tape from the Meryton Press winter anthology, Then Comes Winter, tour the blogosphere from October 8-October 19, 2016, to share their latest collaboration, The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Thirteen book bloggers, specializing in Austenesque fiction and romance stories, will share excerpts, guest posts, an exclusive interview with the authors and book reviews from this highly anticipated Austen-inspired novel. Four ebooks and four paperbacks are also being included in our giveaways and entry is available to anyone who participates. And this great blog tour starts right here, at My Jane Austen Book Club,  today! Let's welcome Beau and Brooke on their first day on tour.

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Good morning, Maria Grazia, and thank you for welcoming us to your lovely blog, My Jane Austen Book Club. We are thrilled to launch our tour for The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy here with your readers, and we look forward to sharing a wide range of posts related to this story throughout this tour. Today, we have a post that readers have been anticipating because we are revealing our top three choices for our The Many Faces of Fitzwilliam Darcy contest, where your readers, and anyone else who votes during this tour, will be able to pick our final winning image.

Before the big reveal, I want to thank all of my readers at Just Jane 1813 who contributed such gorgeous and inspiring images! We were truly blown away by your creativity and your search skills. There were so many entries that we had never even considered before, and we have to say that it’s amazing how one character can inspire so much enthusiasm and ardent admiration!

The idea for our contest was inspired by the passionate reactions that so many readers have to Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy; the wealthy and swoon-worthy character that has lived on for more than two centuries in the hearts and minds of so many people.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ... TIMELESS BY DENISE O'HARA + GIVEAWAY


Timeless: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Elizabeth eagerly awaits her sister Jane's letter while visiting Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. But circumstances cause the letter to be delayed by two additional days. The extra time with Darcy changes the course of both of their lives, in ways no one could have predicted... or even thought possible. In a plot twist, you won't see coming, Darcy and Elizabeth find out if their love is truly timeless...

(This book has a sci-fi element which brings the couple into the present. It's written to be believably scientific.)


Read an excerpt from the book


Lizzy had been a good deal disappointed in not finding a letter from her sister, Jane, on their first arrival at Lambton, and this disappointment had been renewed on each of the mornings that had now been spent there. Today was now the third morning and still no post arrived.  She became slightly worried over this, but she directly abandoned the thought and shifted her focus to something entirely different. A variety of thoughts were vying for her attention; she made a frantic emotional effort to sift them as they flowed in. The manner in which Mr. Darcy continued to behave since first seeing him at Pemberly was at the forefront of her mind.
 “Lizzy dear, good morning,” aunt Gardiner said as her niece entered the breakfast room.
“Good morning, Aunt.” They engaged in tête-à-tête for a few minutes before her aunt informed her that the family would spend the morning taking a walking tour around the town. Lizzy quickly agreed to the prospect of getting to know a few of the modern shops and other interesting sights in the small town of Lambton.
The Gardiners and their niece were preparing to take their leave when the housemaid at the Lambton Inn, where they were staying, opened the door to announce Mr. Darcy.
Lizzy was not expecting to see him today. She was filled with a heightened sense of every feeling when he entered the room. She could not help but notice how very handsome he looked in his black wool suit and black hat. He had come alone on horseback that morning. On seeing the ladies with their hats on already and Mr. Gardiner with his walking stick, he quickly surmised they were on their way out and apologised for his intrusion.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

MR DARCY'S PRESENT BLOG TOUR - REGINA JEFFERS' S GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY

I admit it. I love autumn. I live in North Carolina where for the past two summers we have had a string of 90+ degrees days. This year, since May 27, we have had 82 such days. The lowest temperature we have experienced in three months is 83. So, I am thankful for the latter days of September and the early days of October when the heat and the humidity take a backseat. We will still receive a few days of 85+ degrees until November, but the heat eases, and people start thinking of the upcoming holidays.

Moreover, in my family, we have a series of birthdays between now and years end. I turned a sweet 69 years on September 17. [There was a time I thought being 69 meant one was ANCIENT! Not so much now.] My granddaughter Annalise turns 3 in early October. My stepson Tim will be 40 on Halloween. My grandson James will be 5 in early November, and his father (my son) Josh will be 32 in mid November. We have Thanksgiving in the States at the end of November [which included my late mothers birthday] and Christmas in December. And the much anticipated event at the beginning of January will be a new grandchild. So you can see how my heart grows lighter once the heat of summer disappears.

On one of those recent hot summer evenings, I was speaking to my long time friend Charlotte on the phone, and is customary between us, we were reminiscing about some crazy antics from our childhood. Soon, I was telling her about the year I received four Easter baskets. This was a monumental event for my parents were separated in a time when divorce was still not accepted.My mother did not know whether she could scrap up enough money to purchase an Easter basket, and so she had prepared me for disappointment. Then God smiled on my 10-year-old self for my grandfather bought me a basket, our neighbors, who had no children of their own, did likewise, the woman for whom my mother worked presented me with a third one, and my mother was the bearer of the fourth. It was too much chocolate for one child, but I rationed it out to last a LONG time. What was odd about each was that somehow the little note from the presenters were mixed up, and I kept thanking the wrong people for the chocolate bunnies or the jelly beans. Soon the situation became a family source of laughter.

Monday, 19 September 2016

NEW RELEASE! THE JANE AUSTEN WRITERS' CLUB - INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR REBECCA SMITH & GIVEAWAY


“This guide steers away from lists of how-tos, filling a niche for readers and writers who are as interested in experiencing the journey to better writing as arriving at the destination.” Library Journal

The Jane Austen WritersClub is out tomorrow in the US! It is the first creative writing guide to look at the methods and devices used by the world's most beloved novelist.

Here Rebecca Smith examines the major aspects of writing fiction—plotting, characterization, openings and endings, dialogue, settings, and writing methods—sharing the advice Austen gave in letters to her aspiring novelist nieces and nephew, and providing many and varied exercises for writers to try, using examples from Austen's work. These include:

Show your character doing the thing he or she most loves doing. In the opening scene of Persuasion, Sir Walter Elliot looks himself up in the Baronetage, which is the Regency equivalent of Googling oneself. That single scene gives us a clear understanding of the kind of man he is and sets up the plot.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ... THE MARRIAGE OF MISS JANE AUSTEN - VOLUME TWO + GIVEAWAY

Book Overview  -- Volume II: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Trilogy

Jane Austen lived a solitary life of a writer … Or did she?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen tells a spirited, affecting love story during an exciting, turbulent time. Set in the “lost years” of her twenties – a period of which historians know virtually nothing – the trilogy reveals the story of a talented, passionate woman fully engaging with a man who is very much her equal. The series resolves the biggest mysteries of Austen’s life:
·        Why the enduring rumors of a lost love or tragic affair?
·        Why, afterward, did the vivacious Austen prematurely put on the “cap of middle age” and close off any thoughts of love?
·        Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters and journals?
Hewing to the known facts of Austen’s personal life and the broader history of war-torn England, The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen sets the protagonist on what one reviewer calls “an imaginative journey of the soul” in which “fascinating people step off the pages in lifelike form.”
In this trilogy, Austen’s intelligence and charm earn her a man’s deepest admiration and regard. Together they take on every challenge of a complex and sometimes hostile outside world.
Her story will resonate with every woman seeking respect, opportunity -- and love.

Monday, 12 September 2016

MARIA GRACE, COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE IN JANE AUSTEN'S WORLD + GIVEAWAY

Thanks so much for having me, Maria Grazia! I love getting to visit with you.  

I’m so excited to share with you and your readers about courtship and marriage in Jane Austen’s day. Customs have changed so dramatically in the two centuries since Jane Austen wrote her novels that things which were obvious to her original readers leave readers today scratching their heads and missing important implications. It’s amazing how much of Austen’s stories we miss not understanding the context she wrote it.

One of the most bewildering aspects of marriage in the regency era was the legal position of women in the era. Single and widowed women enjoyed very different legal status than married women whose legal personhood was subsumed into her husbands in a doctrine called coverture..  

This excerpt from Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World explains more about coverture and what it meant to women.


Married Women's Legal Position in the Regency

In 1765, William Blackstone presented a common man’s language interpretation of English law. He explains the law’s approach to women’s legal existence and rights in marriage which remained largely unchanged until the Married Women’s Property Act of 1884.
Blackstone said: By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband… and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture.… For this reason, a man cannot grant anything to his wife, or enter into covenant with her: for the grant would be to suppose her separate existence; and to covenant with her, would be only to covenant with himself: … a husband may also bequeath anything to his wife by will; for that cannot take effect till the coverture is determined by his death.… the chief legal effects of marriage during the coverture; upon which we may observe, that even the disabilities which the wife lies under are for the most part intended for her protection and benefit: so great a favourite

Saturday, 20 August 2016

AUSTEN ON STAGE - EMMA WOOD PRESENTS HER "MR BENNET'S BRIDE" + GIVEAWAY

It’s a pleasure to have a chance to connect with other Jane Austen enthusiasts. I’m an English and drama teacher as well as a playwright, actor and director. Like many people, my passion for Jane Austen grew hugely with the 1996 mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. The theatricality of the characters and the beauty of her dialogue delivered by that magnificent cast made that series one that was watched time and time again for me!

My first full length play (Water Child) was produced in Newcastle Australia in 2012. Having won an award for that play and received very enthusiastic reviews and comments from audience members, I was keen to write another. But I had no particular idea about what until one day, like a gift, an idea presented itself. Mr and Mrs Bennet. How – ? why – ? And what inspired this unlikely union? I read Pride and Prejudice again eagerly with those characters in focus, and noted that very little context is provided for their past.

Chapter 42 opens with reflections on their courtship and marriage:

‘HAD Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had, very early in their marriage, put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown.’

Thursday, 18 August 2016

TEN DARCY QUESTIONS FOR MONICA FAIRVIEW + GIVEAWAY

Monica Fairview's new Mr Darcy tale is out: Mr. Darcy's Pride and Joy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (The Darcy Novels Book 3).
A Jane Austen “what-if” novel. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are engaged at last, and Mr. Darcy is preparing to take out a special license to get married quickly. But, just when everything seems to be going just right, he encounters opposition from an unexpected quarter. Then, when his engagement is announced – to someone else – Elizabeth, understandably, begins to doubt his sincerity. 
Perhaps their love is doomed after all…  

You'll find out more reading this third part of the Darcy Novels series.

Meanwhile, let's discover more of what Monica thinks of her favourite Austen hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy. 


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

BLOG TOUR - SECOND IMPRESSIONS, A NOVELLA BY AMY GEORGE + GIVEAWAY


Imagination is everything.

Those three words changed my life in 1995. They brought an amazing and diverse group of people into my orbit and have blessed me with friendships that continue to this day. They brought me a conviction, something solid to believe in. And, finally, importantly they brought me into the world of JAFF.
When I finished P&P2 (1995) and then the book, I wasn’t done with Darcy & Lizzy. Who could be? They were such rich, realized characters. And the story left off just when the story was getting good. Toni Morrison told us to write the story we want to read, so….Challenge accepted.


Jane Austen gave me a world less ordinary.

 Amy George

Saturday, 13 August 2016

6 MUST-SEE PLACES JANE AUSTEN FANS CAN'T MISS


(by guest blogger Cassie Phillips) 

Wanderlust goes hand in hand with reading an Austen novel. Every time I turn a page I can’t help but want to follow Mr. Darcy all the way to Pemberley. For me, every read through or movie adaptation leaves me longing for the cobblestoned streets of London or the expansive grounds of the Peak District, with its epic landscapes and rolling hills. 

Therefore, I’ve compiled a list must-see destinations that no Austen fan should miss. Some are beautiful backdrops from movies sets, and others are grounded in the writer’s history. These locations are all points on the Jane map and will make any fan of Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price and Lizzie Bennet stare in wonder.