In a letter to Cassandra 18th September 1796 Jane joked, “My Father will be so good as to fetch home his prodigal Daughter from Town, I hope, unless he wishes me to walk the Hospitals, Enter at the Temple, or mount Guard at St James.”
Walking Jane Austen’s London is published by Shire Publications and is available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.comThere are eight walks through London illustrated with original photographs and prints from my collection and very clear maps. Routes will take you through Westminster, St James’s, the City, Soho, Covent Garden, Kensington, Mayfair and Marylebone in search of three Londons – the London of Jane’s lifetime, the London she knew and the London of her novels.
On the walks you can discover four of the homes that Henry Austen the banker occupied in London – three of them Jane stayed at and one was visited by Cassandra – and three of the places where he had his banking premises. We visit the theatres that Jane so enjoyed and locate the shops where she bought fabric and tea and complained about the queues and we can follow her as she “walked into London” from Sloane Street, comforted her sister in law after a carriage accident and delighted in a trip to Astley’s Amphitheatre. Or why not shop in Bond Street with Marianne, miserable over Willoughby, or visit the Hursts in Grsovenor Street with Jane Bennett and hope, like her, to catch a glimpse of Mr Bingley?
Whether you like to shudder at the horrors of Newgate or the Bridewell, take tea at Gunter’s or locate the modern equivalent of the semaphore towers on the roof of the Admiralty that sent orders to Jane’s naval officer brothers, there should be something to interest you here.
Top of page: An English couple in Paris
Left: Pickpockets at work by Alken.