With postage rates peaking in 1812 (ranging from fourpence for 15 miles or less to seventeenpence for a 700 mile trip), Jane Austen was particularly conscious about how she wrote. Austen's letters were mostly written on single-sheets, typically on legal-sized paper folded to make four pages. The center third of page four was left blank creating the "envelope." As charges rose, her writing became more closely spaced and finely written with additional lines within at a right angle over the filled page. As was typical for the age, the front of the envelope was addressed and endorsed with a hand-stamped postmark. The back of the envelope was sealed with wax, and a 1" square indentation on the right-hand side of page three was left blank to accommodate damage from the wax when opened (Modert 346).
Rates and Terms
Postal Moneys Used for War
Postal Reform of 1840
Quotes from Austen's Characters