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At the heart of every household in Jane Austen’s time, a fire burned. Fires provided a fixed source of heat and light, around which people gathered and moved, cooked and cleaned, lived and socialized. And while it’s lovely to imagine that families in Austen’s day gathered together in the evening simply because they enjoyed one […]

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“Ah! there is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” This line from Mrs. Elton in Emma is quite humorous, but the quote itself holds an eternal truth for most of us. There really is no place like one’s own home. For Jane Austen, “home” was in Hampshire, a lush, green county in the […]

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Understanding the subtle nuances behind formal introductions and customary greetings during Jane Austen’s lifetime is a lot of fun, and it can provide a unique level of insight into her books. The reason: Austen uses breaches of etiquette and manners as commentaries on her characters. In her book Those Elegant Decorums, Jane Nardin says, “In […]

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Having just made a big move myself, I was intrigued by the thought that Jane Austen herself—not to mention several of her characters—knew what it took to move an entire household from one place to another. One of the best resources available to us regarding a big move is the letter Austen wrote to Cassandra […]

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Hello, dear friends. Rachel Dodge here. I just moved to a new city (and state) and I’m feeling under the weather and can’t do too much at the moment. I won’t be able to post the article I’ve been working on for this month, so I thought I’d just hop on and say a quick […]

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