A defining characteristic of Jane Austen’s fiction is its realism, which is manifest in details of speech, manner, lifestyle, and even geography.
In each novel her “3 or 4 Families in a Country Village” are situated in a specific part of England. Austen always names the county in which a novel’s action is set and often mentions cities and landmarks, though her villages and estates are invented.
She also uses geography to make a point about her characters. For example, Sense and Sensibility begins, “The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.” Austen uses the removal of the Dashwood women from Norland Park in Sussex to Barton Cottage in distant Devonshire to underscore both their exile from a cherished home and their displacement from an established social position to a modest life among strangers.
Sense and Sensibility
Map of Sense and Sensibility
“Within Four Miles Northward of Exeter”: Landscapes of the Mind and Map in Sense and Sensibility, by Hazel Jones. Persuasions On-Line 43.1 (2022).
Pride and Prejudice
Map of Pride and Prejudice
Derbyshire Great Houses and Pemberley, by John Wiltshire. Persuasions On-Line 42.1 (2021).
Map of Mansfield Park
Map of Emma
Map of Northanger Abbey
Map of Persuasion
Map of Bath (Persuasion sites darkened on map.)
Jane Austen's London
Key to Map of Jane Austen's London
Other Maps and Articles
• Maps of the novels from Where’s Where in Jane Austen . . . and What Happens There, by Patrick Wilson, published by the Jane Austen Society of Australia.
• Hypothetical Map of Highbury created by Penny Gay, published in Persuasions On-Line 36.1, (Winter 2015).
• Map of London created by Jane Axelrod, JASNA-New York Metropolitan Region member.