Jane Austen featured numerous London locations in her novels. Here’s five…
• Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury. In Emma, the main protagonist’s married sister, Isabella, lives here with her lawyer husband John Knightley and children. Isabella is well pleased with her home, noting “We are so very airy”.
• Hill Street, Mayfair. Admiral Crawford, uncle of Henry and Mary Crawford, lives in this street in Mansfield Park.
• Harley Street, Marylebone (pictured). John and Fanny Dashwood took a house in this street for the “season” in Sense and Sensibility.
• Bond Street. Well known to Austen, she has Marianne, then upset over Willoughby (who has lodgings here), visit here on a shopping trip in Sense and Sensibility.
• Grosvenor Street, Mayfair. The Hursts have a house in this fashionable West End street in Pride and Prejudice and here Jane Bennet visits Caroline Bingley hoping to see her brother Charles. Continue reading “10 sites of significance in Jane Austen’s London…9. Literary locations…”
This Grade II*-listed building is the former site of the offices of publisher, John Murray, who published four of Jane Austen’s six novels including Emma (1815), Mansfield Park (1814), Persuasion (1818) and Northanger Abbey (1818) (the last two after Austen’s death on 18th July, 1817).
Murray, whose offices were located here from 1812 onwards, published, along with Austen, many of the great literary names of the age including everyone from Lord Byron to Sir Walter Scott and Washington Irving (the company also later published the likes of Herman Melville and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
The John Murray with whom Austen dealt (and it seems her brother Henry must have played a considerable part in getting Murray to publish his sister’s works given Murray had already won considerable fame with the publication of Byron’s epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in 1811) was actually John Murray II, of whom Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra: “He is a rogue, of course, but a civil one”.
His father John Murray I had founded the business in Fleet Street in 1768 and his son, John Murray III, continued it after his father (in fact, there were a succession of John Murrays down to John Murray VII).
The business was acquired in 2002 by Hodder Headline, itself then acquired by the French Lagardère Group. John Murray is now an imprint of Hachette UK.
PICTURE: Google Maps