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Pen and Parsimony: Carriages in the Novels of Jane Austen

Jane Austen refers to horse-drawn carriages almost 400 times in her novels. From Mr. Thorpe’s “well hung, town-built” gig, to Anne Wentworth’s “very pretty landaulette,” to the chaise and four that brings Mr. Bingley to Netherfield, her references are remarkably specific.

What is she trying to tell us? In this two-part video series, Sandy Lerner translates the language of carriages for modern readers.

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In this video, Sandy Lerner decodes the social and economic implications of the different types of vehicles mentioned in Austen’s novels.

Copyright Sandy Lerner

Part 2 Coming Soon . . .

Part 2 of "Pen and Parsimony: Carriages in the Novels of Jane Austen" will show what it was like to ride in the carriages mentioned in Austen's novels.

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The video series "Pen and Parsimony: Carriages in the Novels of Jane Austen" is based on a breakout talk Sandy Lerner presented at the 1999 and 2013 AGMs. She has graciously provided her breakout talk as a reference for those who would like more in-depth information and details.

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Sandy Lerner, OBE, cofounded Cisco Systems in 1984, moved on to create the cosmetics company Urban Decay, and now owns and operates an organic farm. Her foundation acquired a 125-year lease on Chawton House, funded its restoration, and established Chawton House Library, a center for the study of women’s literature in English during the period 1600-1830. Lerner is the author of Second Impressions, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, anCaticons: 4,000 Years of Art Imitating Cats, and has many other pursuits, including carriage-driving and jewelry-making. She has been driving carriages since 1994 and is a founding member of the Four-in-Hand Club of America. 


“I am fond of superior society.”

Pride and Prejudice