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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Jane Austen: novels, kings and tea!

Did you know that author Jane Austen regularly visited London to see family, go to the theatre and buy tea? London is often mentioned in her books, with city neighbourhoods a subtle indication of the social class of her characters! There's a green plaque at 10 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden where she stayed with brother Henry in 1813-4. Nearby was Twinings tea shop on the Strand (see photo) where she bought tea for the family. This was kept under lock and key at home because it was so expensive! Austen is likely to have been working on Emma (published 1816) whilst she was in London. The future King George IV had a taste for her fiction, and bought Sense and Sensibility two days before it was first advertised in 1811. He also purchased Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park, together with a gift copy of Emma which has a stilted dedication from an author who really disliked him!

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