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|MT: Real people & places in JA's life vs. names in the novels
Written by Kay S
(2/7/2003 1:53 p.m.)
Some names of real people and places in Jane Austen's life are strikingly similar to names she made famous in her novels. Here are three examples I've found so far that correspond to this week's focus on 'BEFORE JANE - a look at her family and relatives'.
(I would be very interested to hear what similarities others have found, for I'm sure there are many!)
1. Emma inspirations: The sister-in-law of Jane Austen's godmother Mrs. James Musgrave (a distant and wealthy relative of Jane's mother Cassandra Austen) married a Mr. John Knightley.
2. More from Emma: Mr. Thomas Knight (sorry, no -ley) of Godmersham Park in Kent was George Austen's second cousin and benefactor. Mr. Knight secured the Steventon living for Mr. Austen, and later adopted Jane's older brother Edward.
3. Possible source of Lydia's fall from grace: The former occupant of the Steventon living, Mr. Henry Austen (I think he was a relative of George Austen?) left Steventon for the living at West Wickham!
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