It was the era of Jane Austen, lavish palaces designed for the future King George IV, grand country houses, scandals that shook the royal family, and paintings by J.M.W. Turner. While the “ton” (Britain’s fashionable set) ruled fashion and etiquette, an industrial revolution that would change their world was gathering.
10 to 11 a.m. Cities and Towns
London’s Regent Street and Regent’s Park; Cheltenham and its spa; Dover; the Jane Austen seaside in Southampton.
11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Palaces and Country Houses
Brighton Pavilion, Buckingham Palace, Carlton House Terrace (where Jane Austen was invited in the hope that she would write a history of the royal dynasty); Windsor Castle; Stoneleigh Abbey; Warwickshire and Chawton House, which was owned by Austen’s relatives.
12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Lunch
Participants provide their own lunch.
1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Arts and Culture
Paintings by Turner and Benjamin West; Gillray’s caricatures; Greek Revival–style fashion influenced by the Elgin marbles. Drury Lane Theatre, theater-going etiquette and design.
3 to 4 p.m. Industrial Revolution
Ironbridge Gorge—the first cast-iron bridge; London’s Regents Canal; Manchester’s cotton industry; the Martello defensive towers; coach travel; Lord Nelson; child labor and other societal abuses.
Lorella Brocklesby is an adjunct professor of humanities at New York University.
Discover Jane Austen landmarks in the lovely cities of Winchester and Bath, including where she lived, socialized, and was finally laid to rest.
Visit the Smithsonian Journeys page to see more
trips to Winchester and Bath.