Going Postal with Jane Austen

Less than 160 of the thousands of letters Jane Austen wrote in her lifetime remain (Modert 346), yet readers can still enjoy the thrill of receiving letters along with the frustration of waiting on the post through the characters of Austen's novels.

Reporting on a time when letter writing was an art form, Austen shows readers the powerful nature that post office letters once held to grant one's happiness or destroy one's hopes. Browsing this information via a system that enables people to send mail in fractions of seconds with the press of a button or click of a mouse is a delicious irony.

The purpose of this web site is both to show readers how letters were delivered to Austen's characters as well as reveal other points of interest on the postal system that so many Austen characters relied on.

Information was compiled from several sources, all of which are listed in the bibliography along with several other useful references.


Introduction

Rates and Terms

Mail Carriers

Mail Coaches

Mail Guards

Franking

Postal Moneys Used for War

Postal Reform of 1840

Austen's Style

Quotes from Austen's Characters

Bibliography