If you have been on this blog long, you know I am an avid reader! It’s my thang, no shame about it I have been a bookworm my whole life. One of my favorite passions is combining travel and literature. I have made it a goal to find a book based on each place I visit and then see it in real life. This is not always easy as I love sci-fiction and fantasy, but my obsession with Jane Austen has made it easier to see her stories in real life.
Jane Austen is the famous author of amazing books such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility just to name a few. Her books focus on women married in the 18th century and their struggles in society. They say to write what you know and that is something Austen could relate with deeply.
She penned most of her novels in Bath, England and based a few in that setting as well as in London. If you visit Bath you can visit the Jane Austen Centre…I’ve been and it’s amazing! I’ve doodled long enough here is the list of the real-life counterparts of her novels.
It was written in 1818 and was one of two books published after her death. In the story the family was in financial trouble and travelled to Bath after losing their home in Kellynch Hall. Jane Austen herself did not enjoy Bath because of her own family’s financial trouble. The similarities between her character Anne Elliot and herself are startling. If you visit Bath you can decide for yourself on its worth. I personally loved it but I also wasn’t forced to go to frivolous parties the way Austen was.
Written in 1803 it was also not published until after death making it the only other besides Persuasion. It also shared location similarities with Persuasion. The novel starts in a fictional town called Fullerton and then goes back to Bath.
Sense and Sensibility
One of my personal favorites which was written in 1811 was set in Sussex. I have to admit Sussex is a great location to visit some spots to see are Petwort House and Park, Devil’s Dyke and Wakehurst. The novel also features Oxford as the location of where Edward Ferrars studies. Both are worth the trip to see in real life. The novel also sees the characters venturing to London. Elinor and Marianne go and spy on Willoughby with his new fiancé.
Written in 1814 and one of her most controversial books. It was not as well received as her other five and it was based on a sugar plantation in Antigua that relied on slavery. While the main location was fictional, London, Portsmouth and Brighton are all real places.
While almost the whole novels setting is a fictional place, they talk of a highly populated village named Highbury. One scene was when Emma went on a picnic with her soon to be husband in Box Hill and she insulted Miss Bates. Spoiler her fiancé was not a fan, I recommend you read the book for his full reaction. The location though is real and is located in North Downs and worth a visit.
My favorite book she wrote Pride and Prejudice and unfortunately has no real-life locations to visit. The entire setting was fictional but it’s still my favorite hands down! There you have it, all the real locations you can go and get your Jane Austen on.
If you stop by any of these locations let me know in the comments below!