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Jane Austen's Cousin (ePub)

The Outlandish Countess de Feuillide

British History P&S History Women of History Georgian Era Biographies

By Geri Walton
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 8.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781526734648
eBook Released: 4th May 2021


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Eliza de Feuillide seemed fascinating and outlandish to her cousins in rural eighteen century England. When she visited their village, her appearance was electrifying. She was an attractive, accomplished French countess with a vivacious personality who inspired their imaginations and regaled them with stories of life in London and Paris where she hobnobbed with French nobility and wore the latest fashions. One of these impressionable younger cousins would find Eliza’s stories so fascinating that she would incorporate elements of Eliza’s life into some of the most famous novels in English literature. This cousin was Jane Austen.

Yet Eliza’s life was not as glamorous as Jane or her Austen cousins might have thought. She faced many tragedies in her life that wealth and social class could not protect her against. She was also forced to adapt and re-examine her priorities in a way that would dramatically change her life choices and result in a more sedate lifestyle.

Read about the perseverance and courage of the real person behind several fictional characters in Jane Austen’s writings and novels and the deeper connection Eliza had to the Austen family.

I'd heard about the Countess de Feuillide when reading biographies of Jane Austen and was keep to to find out more about her life in this biography. It's short and sweet, giving lots of information about how Eliza's life and how she inspired characters in Austen's books.

NetGalley, Penelope Jenkins

Jane Austen's Cousin is about the illustrious Eliza whose life is described in detail in this fascinating book. Though she was always independent, extravagant and flirtatious, her life was not easy. We are regaled with stories from her birth to death, including her youth, marriages, children including her beloved disabled son, international travels and sorrowful deaths of those around her. She married Count de Feuillide who really wasn't a count.

In a time of massive class and gender divisions and financial hardship, Eliza's life must have seemed splendid in comparison to most. It was to a certain extent. Very few had her privileges. Eliza's personality must have been arresting...no wonder nieces and nephews thought her exotic. However, her emotional losses would have been enough to crush most people. The author describes events going on at the time including war and executions, attempted carriage robberies and hail wiping out crops,

Jane Austen's inspiration largely came from real people, especially Eliza. I like that though the book is about Eliza, her Austen relatives are also discussed. They are integral. I also enjoy learning and putting puzzle pieces together. Jane Austen has been one of my most loved authors since a little girl and reading anything related to her is such a treat! Every family has stories, including this one. Little did they know centuries ago we would continue to be this enamoured...but we are!

NetGalley, Brenda Carleton

About Geri Walton

Geri Walton has long been fascinated by people from history and curious about what they did and why. This interest encouraged her to receive a BA in history from San Jose State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is particularly interested in the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which has resulted in her website and blog at www.geriwalton.com. You can find her on Instagram or Twitter at @18thCand19thC. Geri is also the author of several other Pen and Sword books.

Death of Eliza de Feuillide, Jane Austen's cousin

25th April 1813

Jane Austen's cousin, Eliza de Feuillide, died on 25 April 1813. She was a vivacious socialite who inspired many characters in Jane’s books.

View all events View all anniversaries

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