Skip to main content

Jane Austen and the Regency Period: Historical Contexts

George III, George IV, Georgian and Regency Eras

Resources abound on the British Monarchy.  When reading about George III (House of Hanover and the Georgian Era), you also will read about the loss of the American colonies as a result of the American Revolution, as well as the loss of his mind and his sight (the "Madness of King George").  His wayward son waiting in the wings, The Prince of Wales became the Prince Regent ("Prinny") during his father's health crisis--lending his title to the era most associated with Jane Austen, The Regency.

King George III  The Prince Regent, "Prinny"

George III (1760-1820) and George IV (1820-1830) 

Cartoon of the Prince Regent

 "Prinny" became George IV and became the butt of much derision and commentary because of his excessive drinking, dining, gambling and womanizing.

A suggestion (read decree) was made to Jane Austen that the Prince Regent was a fan of her novels and that she would be welcome to dedicate her next work to His Royal Highness.  The terse dedication is a classic bit of understatement:

Regency

Books for historical background

Napolean, War and the Military

Napoleon Bonaparte portrait by Jacques Louis David

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Locations: Jane Austen's life, locations for films, etc.

The Republic of Pemberley web site is rich with information.  Here is the page with pictures of locations associated with Austen and her work.

Bath, England

Bath is a World Heritage site and well worth a few days visit.  Jane, Cassandra, Mother and Father moved to Bath in December 1800 and lived there until Reverend Austen's death in 1805.  Even the locals in Bath will tell you that Jane was not happy living in Bath.  The tours, cabbies, bus drivers, and locals all point out spots where Jane either lived or frequented:

Previous Austen addresses:  No. 1 The Paragon; No. 4 Sydney House and 25 Gay Street opposite the park.

4 Sydney House Bath UK    4 Sydney House