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In Search of Jane AustenThe Language of the Letters$

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945115.001.0001

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Jane Austen’s Epistolary Network

Jane Austen’s Epistolary Network

In Search of Jane Austen
Oxford University Press

The table below presents an overview of my reconstruction of Jane Austen’s epistolary network on the basis of her letters, the attested as well as the unattested ones. The most important sources for the identification of the various network links were Le Faye (2004) and Le Faye (2011). Other helpful sources were Tomalin (1997) and Nokes (1997), while at times the letters themselves had to be resorted to for specific identification. The network members are the addressees and the senders of the letters, the attested as well as the unattested ones, and they have been classified as ‘Relatives’ and ‘Nonrelatives’. ‘Jane Austen’ is abbreviated ‘JA’.





Anna (later Lefroy)

niece (James’s daughter)

Alethea Bigg

a ‘particular friend’ (Le Faye 2011: 497)


niece (James’s daughter)

Mrs Birch

girlhood friend of JA’s mother; also knew the Cooper family



Mrs Bramston

Mrs Wither Bramston? ‘a very civil note of invitation for me came from Mrs. Bramston’ (letter 24) → acquaintance

Cassandra Esten

niece (Charles’s daughter)

Harriot Bridges

Edward’s sister-in-law; a friend



Miss Buller

Mr Buller’s sister → acquaintance

Mary Cooke

Mrs Cooke’s daughter

Mr Buller

the Rev. Richard Buller, one of JA’s father’s pupils → acquaintance

Mrs Cooke

= Cassandra Leigh, second cousin (JA’s mother’s cousin; her husband was JA’s godfather)

Fanny Cage

Fanny’s cousin

Edward Cooper

cousin (his father was married to JA’s mother’s sister)

James Stanier Clarke

librarian of the Prince Regent → acquaintance



Mrs Clement = Ann-Mary


of Chawton; a ‘civil note’ → acquaintance

Edward Junior

nephew (Edward’s son)

Richard Crosby & Co.

publisher (‘MAD letter’) → bare acquaintance

Fanny (later Knight)

niece (Edward’s daughter)

Eliza Curlings

Mary Gibson’s cousin



William Deedes

Edward’s brother-in-law → acquaintance

George Cooke

Mrs Cooke’s son

Mr Evelyn

possibly John Evelyn, cousin of the Evelyns who lived at Bath → acquaintance



Lady Forbes

acquaintance: ‘an invitation to come to her house at Dover before and after it, was Lady Forbes’s message’ (letter 46)

Miss Irvine

distant cousin of JA’s mother

The Fowles

Tom Fowle had been Cassandra’s fiancé; Mr Fowle had been JA’s father’s univerity friend → close relationship



Mr Haden

London surgeon/apothecary; treated Henry in his illness; JA greatly liked him → acquaintance


nephew (James’s son)

Miss Harwood

Mr Harwood’s spinster sister; ‘Miss Harwood & her friend have taken a house 15 miles from Bath’ (letter 27) → acquaintance

Aunt Leigh-Perrot

aunt (JA’s mother’s sister-in-law)

Miss Hatton (Louisa?)

acquaintance in connection with the invitation to Lady Forbes’s ball (not mentioned by Le Faye, Tomalin, or Nokes other than in a quotation from the letter)

Mary (Gibson)

sister-in-law (Frank’s first wife)

Mrs Heathcote

possibly Elizabeth Bigg’s mother-in-law; later referred to as Mrs Wm. Heathcote; JA’s reference not so friendly (‘Mrs Heathcote has been ill-natured enough to send me a letter of enquiry’, letter 12) → acquaintance

Mary (Lloyd)

sister-in-law (James’s second wife)

Mrs Hill

Catherine Bigg: a ‘particular friend’ (see Alethea Bigg)

Mary Jane

niece (Frank’s daughter)

Mrs Knight

Edward’s adoptive mother; JA’s only known patron



Tom Lefroy

early boyfriend

Philadelphia Walter

distant cousin (granddaughter of JA’s grand-mother, from her first marriage)

Mrs Lefroy

Tom Lefroy’s aunt

Mrs E. Leigh

Elizabeth, Cassandra’s godmother

Martha Lloyd

closest friend; shared house together

Mrs Martin

‘I have received a very civil note from Mrs. Martin requesting my name as a Subscriber to her Library which opens the 14th of January’ (letter 14) → casual acquaintance

Mrs H. Moore

Harriet Moore; ‘a civil note’; ‘ask us to join a small party this Eveng. — Thank ye, but we shall be better engaged’ (letter 98); potential fiancée of Henry (Le Faye 2004: 215, 220) → acquaintance

Lady Morley

an admirer, contact possibly through Henry → acquaintance

John Murray

publisher of Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and the 2nd ed. of Mansfield Park

Miss Pearson

briefly engaged to Henry in 1796

Mrs Perigord

one of Henry’s servants, possibly Mme. Bigeon’s daughter

Miss Prowting

Catherine Ann? → acquaintance

Mr Pyne

owner of the Austens’ lodgings at Lyme Regis → casual acquaintance

Charles Roworth

Murray’s printer

Anne Sharp

close friend

Frances Tilson

wife of Henry’s banking partner → acquaintance

Captain Woodford

casual acquaintance, the carier of the invitation from Lady Forbes (see above)

(p.264) (p.265) (p.266)