Where’s Where in Jane Austen’s Novels

The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.

A defining characteristic of Jane Austen’s fiction is its realism, which is manifest in details of speech, manner, lifestyle, and even geography. In each novel her “3 or 4 Families in a Country Village” are situated in a specific part of England. Sense and Sensibility, her first published novel, begins, “The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.” Austen uses the removal of the Dashwood women from Norland Park in Sussex to Barton Cottage in distant Devonshire to underscore both their exile from a cherished home and their displacement from an established social position to a modest life among strangers.

Austen always names the county in which a novel’s action is set and often mentions cities and landmarks, though her villages and estates are invented. This section reproduces maps of the novels from Where’s Where in Jane Austen . . . and What Happens There, by Patrick Wilson, published by the Jane Austen Society of Australia. The maps include both real and fictional places, and the book provides information about more than 400 locations in Austen’s fiction. It is available for purchase on JASA’s web site. Jane Axelrod and Nadine Ezra, JASNA members in the New York Metropolitan Region, created the maps of London and Bath respectively.

Further Reading

General

Austen’s Bath and Bath’s Jane: Austen Writing the City and Its Twenty-first-century Marketing of Heritage Jane by Gill Ballinger. Persuasions On-Line 34.1 (2013).

London as Text: Teaching Jane Austen’s “London” Novels In Situ by Laurie Kaplan. Persuasions On-Line 32.1 (2011).

Sense and Sensibility

Sunday in the Park with Elinor Dashwood: “So Public a Place” by Laurie Kaplan. Persuasions 34 (2012): 179-200.

Sense and Sensibility: 3 or 4 Country Families in an Urban Village by Laurie Kaplan. Persuasions 32 (2010).

Pride and Prejudice

Pemberley’s Welcome, or An Historical Conjecture Upon Elizabeth Darcy’s Wedding Journey by Kelly McDonald. Persuasions On-Line 30.1 (2009).

Derbyshires Corresponding: Elizabeth Bennet and the Austen Tour of 1833 by Kelly McDonald. Persuasions 30 (2008).

The Probable Location of Longbourn in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Kenneth Smith. Persuasions 27 (2005).

Pemberley Revisited by Donald Greene. Persuasions 1 (1979).

Mansfield Park

“Delighted with the Portsmouth Scene”: Why Austen’s Intimates Admired Mansfield Park’s Gritty City by Christina Denny. Persuasions On-Line 35.1 (2014).

Mansfield Park vs. Sotherton Court: Social Status and the Slave Trade by Sarah Parry. Persuasions On-Line 35.1 (2014).

The Rushworths of Wimpole Street by Laurie Kaplan. Persuasions 33 (2011).

Exploring Mansfield Park: In the Footsteps of Fanny Price by John Wiltshire. Persuasions 28 (2006).

Portsmouth in Jane Austen’s Time by B. C. Thomas. Persuasions 10 (1990).

Emma

Emma and “the children in Brunswick Square” by Laurie Kaplan. Persuasions 31 (2009).

“It Must Be Done in London”: The Suburbanization of Highbury by Tara Ghoshal Wallace. Persuasions 29 (2007).

Adoring the Girl Next Door: Geography in Austen’s Novels by Susan Morgan. Persuasions On-Line 21.1 (2000).

Northanger Abbey

The Real Bluebeard of Bath: A Historical Model for Northanger Abbey by Janine Barchas. Persuasions 32 (2010).

Blaise Castle by Maggie Lane. Persuasions 7 (1985).

Yes, There is a Petty France by Dean Cantrell. Persuasions 9 (1987).

Persuasion

The “Positioning Systems” of Persuasion by Laura Mooneyham White. Persuasions On-Line 27.1 (2006).

“The unmeaning luxuries of Bath”: Urban Pleasures in Jane Austen’s World by Paula Byrne. Persuasions 26 (2004).

Austen’s Urban Redemption: Rejecting Richardson’s View of the City by Celia Easton. Persuasions 26 (2004).

Why Lyme Regis? by Peter Graham. Persuasions 26 (2004).

“What Part of Bath Do You Think They Will Settle In?”: Jane Austen’s Use of Bath in Persuasion by Keiko Parker. Persuasions 23 (2001).