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. 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.
She also uses geography to make a point about her characters. For example, Sense and Sensibility 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.
Sense and Sensibility
Map of Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Map of Pride and Prejudice
- The “Northern Tour” in Pride and Prejudice: Another Model, by James E. Evans. Persuasions 38 (2016).
- Where’s Wickham?, by Sue Forgue. Persuasions On-Line 36.1 (2015).
- How Celebrity Name-Dropping Leads to Another Model for Pemberley, by Janine Barchas. Persuasions 35 (2013).
- Bingley’s Four or Five Thousand, and Other Fortunes from the North, by Linda Slothouber. Persuasions 35 (2013).
- 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).
Map of Mansfield Park
Map of Emma
Hypothetical Map of Highbury
Map of Northanger Abbey
Map of Persuasion
Map of Bath (Persuasion sites darkened on map.)
Jane Austen's London
Map of Jane Austen's London
Key to Map of Jane Austen's London
Other Maps and Articles
Map of English Counties
• 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.
• Hypothetical Map of Highbury created by Penny Gay, published in Persuasions On-Line 36.1, (Winter 2015).
• Map of London created by Jane Axelrod, JASNA-New York Metropolitan Region member.