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The Dark Side of Jane Austen's World (Hardback)

P&S History > Social History

By Angela Youngman
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399080842
Published: 30th August 2024

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Jane Austen’s novels are read all over the globe, and adaptations of her works have graced both film and TV screens. Although sometimes criticised for being detached from the real world, providing nothing more than light-hearted plot-driven story lines, the reality is very different.

Jane was aware of the evils of society, of the problems faced by women whether single or married. Underneath the entertaining story lines are much darker aspects of Regency and Georgian life. Staying single resulted in serious problems for young women; there were very few alternatives open to them, while marriage itself resulted in other risks. The threats of poverty or becoming a victim of crime were also an issue. Indeed, Jane’s aunt spent months in prison and faced the threat of transportation for theft. Other problems society faced included those posed by opium addiction, poor medical standards, and a lack of property leaving young men and women struggling to survive. Many sought solutions in India, leading to the creation of ‘fishing fleets’ with girls sent to marry total unknowns. Meanwhile, the issues of slavery brought more problems, and social disorder was rife.

Jane Austen created classic stories that have endured the test of time, reflecting society in all its aspects, faults, values both good and bad. This is Jane Austen as you have never seen her before.

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About Angela Youngman

Angela Youngman is a professional journalist and author living in Norfolk. Her other books include The Dark Side of Alice in WonderlandNorfolk: A Dog Walkers GuideKiddiwalks Norfolk, and Green Roofs. She is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance and Garden Media Guild, writing for a wide range of travel, tourism, transport, culture magazines and websites. Angela enjoys finding the unexpected and unusual stories relating to destinations such as London.

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