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Jane Austen
Jane Austen portraitJane Austen from a drawing by her sister Cassandra.
Birth: December 16, 1775 at Steventon Rectory in Hampshire, UK
Death: July 18, 1817, buried in Winchester Cathedral
Family: Siblings (James, George, Charles, Francis, Henry, Edward)
Home Chawton, Hampshire, UK
Schooling: Educated at home by her father and older brothers and through her own reading
  • Sense and Sensibility (1811)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  • Mansfield Park (1814)
  • Emma (1816)
  • Persuasion (1817, posthumously)
  • Northanger Abbey (1817, posthumously)
Influences: The Regency period in which she lived
Jane Austen Society North AmericaJane Austen Society North America | Chawton CottageChawton Cottage
Climbing the Social Ladder

Ah, Jane Austen's world — a simpler time, less stress, no climbing the corporate ladder, more time for the relaxing pleasures of life.

Think again. Jane's life crossed over the Georgian and Regency eras, both times of rules, regulations and the all-important social ladder — which dictated that if you were born with the wrong accent, you were left clinging to the bottom rung forever.

And coming into the world at the top was no guarantee of a charmed life, either. A social misstep could send you plummeting down one golden rung at a time, landing you in a heap of crinoline and titled pedigrees.

Although not as formal, straight-laced or corseted as Victorian England, both Georgian and Regency England still had strict, complicated rules for the proper mode of behavior.

So, in case you ever find yourself among the gilded tearooms of 18th century England, here's your audio etiquette survival guide to avoid those embarrassing faux pas.