Where’s Where in Jane Austen’s Novels

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. Here's a link to the map of this area:

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