Jane Austen and Leisure

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Jul 1, 1998 - History - 376 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Jane Austen's novels portray a leisured society of gentlemen and ladies who do not need to work. Even the minority of clergymen, soldiers and sailors - men with professions - are almost never seen working. Jane Austen herself, despite responsibility for some domestic tasks, wrote as a woman of leisure. Yet leisure, the distinguishing mark of a gentleman, was not meant to be an excuse for idleness. The proper use of leisure to fulfil duties, to read and to think, and above all to pursue social relations in a world where family and marriage for the propertied was of central importance, was a vital test of character.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ponsonby - LibraryThing

Excellent survey of the activities of middle and upper class England in the time of Jane Austen. Very well tied into references in her work, but has a wider outlook as well. Written in an easygoing but scholarly style. Read full review


1 Society
2 Pleasure Resorts
3 Needlework and Art
4 Outdoor Pursuits
5 Music
6 Dancing
7 Books
8 Theatricals
9 Toys and Games
10 Verses Riddles and Puzzles

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

David Selwyn is the author of Jane Austen and Leisure and the editor of Jane Austen Collected Poems and verse of the Austen Family, The Complete Poems of James Austen, Fugitive Pieces: The poems of James Edward Austen-Leigh and, with Maggie Lane, Jane Austen: A Celebration. He is Chairman of the Jane Austen Society. As well as editing the journal of the Jane Austen Society, he has contributed to the new Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen for CUP, and also to the forthcoming second edition of the Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen.

Bibliographic information