Talk:Timeline of Jane Austen

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Copy editing[edit]

  • For more information and additional references relating to the life and works of Jane Austen, see the main article: Jane Austen. - This sentence will almost surely be deleted by others, as wikilinks make it redundant. That is why I had deleted it before. It also sounds a little too much like an academic book, I think. Awadewit | talk 17:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I'll remove it. Simmaren (talk) 18:56, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

To do[edit]

Le Faye is for scholars, although it might not be a bad idea to include a reference to it to point the way for those who need more detail. Do you have (access to) the necessary biblio info? Are there other similar resources known to you that could be added? Simmaren (talk) 17:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Added Le Faye. I don't of anything nearly so comprehensive. If I come across anything, I'll add it, though. Awadewit | talk 18:45, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

The lead needs more work, I think, but I'm unclear in my own mind how much. It seems a little too long and too much like the lead to the JA Article, which has a different purpose. I'm going to fiddle with it a bit - I'm concerned about messing up the footnotes but we can revert it and start again if necessary. Simmaren (talk) 17:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Less on her works and writing style, maybe? Originally we had just copied this lead from the article and then I added the historical background. I think information on her life is good though. I think we really need information on her economic status, which explains all of the traveling. Awadewit | talk 18:25, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I haven't checked the images. Are you confident that they all have acceptable copyright status? Simmaren (talk) 17:13, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

  • All of the image pages say they are in the public domain. Hopefully that is accurate. :) Awadewit | talk 18:36, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
  • That's sufficient, IMO. We're not responsible for policing it. Thanks for doing the work of checking. Simmaren (talk) 19:02, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Lead revision[edit]

This timeline lists important events in the life and work of British novelist Jane Austen (16 December 177518 July 1817), placing her life and work in their literary and historical contexts. Austen lived her entire life as part of a large and close-knit family located socially and economically on the lower fringes of the English gentry.[1] She was primarily educated at home by her father and older brothers and through her own reading.[2] Her economic situation was comfortable throughout her lifetime except for a four-and-one-half year period of economic insecurity following the death of her father in 1805. During this time, Austen, her mother, and her sister Cassandra were dependent on other members of their family and had no permanent home.[3]

Austen's apprenticeship as a writer lasted from her teenage years until she was about thirty-five years old. During this period, she wrote three major novels and began a fourth.[4] From 1811 until 1815, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, published after her death in 1817, and began a third (eventually titled Sanditon), but died before it could be completed. Austen's realism, biting social commentary, and masterful use of such techniques as free indirect speech, burlesque, satire, and irony earned her a place as one of the most widely-read and best-loved novelists in British literature.[5] Her works critiqued the novels of sensibility of the second half of the eighteenth century and provided an early transition to the realism of the nineteenth century.[6]

Austen published all of her novels in the Regency period, during which George III was declared permanently insane and his son was appointed as Prince Regent. Throughout most of Austen's adult life, Britain was at war with revolutionary France. Fearing the spread of revolutionary violence to Britain, the government tried to repress political radicals by suspending habeas corpus and passing the Seditious Meetings Act and the Treasonable Practices Act, known as the "Gagging Acts". Many reformers still held out hope for change in Britain during the 1790s, but by the 1800s and 1810s, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars had exhausted the country and a deep conservative reaction had set in. While Austen's novels rarely explicitly touch on these events, she herself was personally affected by them, as two of her brothers served in the Royal Navy.[7] When Napoleon was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, Britain rejoiced. However, economic hardships in the 1810s increased the income disparity in the country and class conflict increased. Luddites wrecked the machinery that replaced them during the Industrial Revolution while aristocrats prospered from the economic boom set off by the war.[8] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Awadewit (talkcontribs) 18:39, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I've reorganized, pruned and added two sentences re economic status. What do you think? Simmaren (talk) 19:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I've reorganized still further, putting the biography before the works, which is appropriate for a timeline, I think. Also, the works were discussed in two separate paragraphs, which seemed a bit odd. What do you think? Improvement or not? Awadewit | talk 06:42, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I've pasted in this version of the lead. People are reviewing this a lot faster than I thought! Usually it takes forever to get a peer review! We can keep revising, though. Obviously. :) Awadewit | talk 18:09, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The changes look good. There may be a lesson or two here for the lead of the main article. Simmaren (talk) 22:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Additions to the timeline[edit]

As timelines can be very subjective, I tried to follow a strict rule of not including anything on this timeline that wasn't listed on two or more other timelines explaining English history or English literary history (no one usually disputes the author's life part!). Thus, if any additions are made, we should think about them in these terms. Do we have these kinds of sources for them? Awadewit | talk 18:18, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I am checking my sources to see if Willow's additions are on them. Awadewit | talk 18:49, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Publication of Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie completed (begun 1752) - I have two date on this - Willow had listed it under 1772, but I have 1761 (Romantic Chronologies) and 1772 (Jack Lynch site) - more research is needed —Preceding unsigned comment added by Awadewit (talkcontribs) 18:55, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You're going to love this. Palmer, Colton and Kramer. A History of the Modern World, 9th Edition. Alfred A Knopf. New York, 2002 [ISBN not evident] 300, gives the dates of 1751-1772. Ted Honderich, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. Oxford and New York, 1995. ISBN 0-19-866132-0 229-230, says that the final edition of the work appeared in 1772. Jonathan I. Israel. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750. Oxford University Press. Oxford, 2001 ISBN 0-19-820608-9 gives the dates 1751-65. Norman Davies. Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford and New York, 1996. ISBN 0-19-520912-5. 599 says it appeared between 1751 and 1765, with supplements, illustrations and indices appearing up to 1782. (These are the resources at hand.) As I commented once before, I love it when the sources agree (as they do about the beginning date - 1751). I wonder if the issue isn't different editions? Simmaren (talk) 23:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh my god. I think the issue is that there are so many volumes and each person defines the "end" differently, some counting supplements and illustration volumes and some not. Whatever date we pick, we are going to have to insert a footnote. Doesn't bode well for the Encyclopédie article, does it? :) (Too bad we can't pick the beginning date.) Two 1772s and two 1765s. Hmm.
  • Dorinda Outram, The Enlightenment, Cambridge UP (1995), 23, 1751-1772
  • Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation: The Science of Freedom, Norton, 1969, 74, 1750-1763 - the bulk of the Encyclopedie was published during this time
  • Ulrich Im Hof, The Enlightenment, Blackwell (1994), 163, 1751-1780
What now? Awadewit | talk 23:44, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Coincidentally, I have Robert Darnton's book on the publishing history of L'Encyclopedie on (library) order and due in on Saturday. If it doesn't arrive, I'll visit the Newberry and nail it down. Simmaren (talk) 04:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • All of my books referenced him as well - let's go with whatever he says and then mention the discrepancy in a footnote. Awadewit | talk 06:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I might be able to clear this up provisionally, using my library notes from the Encyclopædia Britannica; hardly a reliable source, I know, but I think you'll find the facts confirmed when your book arrives. ;) The first and second volumes of the Encyclopédie appeared in July 1751 and January 1752, respectively. The third appeared in October 1753 and volumes 4-7 appeared yearly up to November 1757. Unfortunately, volume 7 (which completed the letter "G") contained the inflammatory article "Geneva" by Jean le Rond d'Alembert, which inspired even contributor Jean-Jacques Rousseau to denounce Denis Diderot in his Lettre à D'Alembert sur les Spectacles. D'Alembert stepped down as editor in January 1758, but Diderot stuck with it and, by 1765, completed the publication of the remaining 10 volumes, which were distributed in 1766. However, the Encyclopédie was not yet completely published, since it was all text; eleven volumes of plates were completed in 1772. Thus, the sometimes inflammatory text was published in full by 1765, but the publication of the encyclopedia as a whole (all 28 volumes) was completed only in 1772. Willow (talk) 11:36, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • [Sigh of relief] Willow, this makes sense to me. I'll confirm in Darnton. Thanks Simmaren (talk) 19:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC))
  • Darnton confirms Willow's information: the first volume of text appeared in 1751, the second through seventh volumes of text periodically thereafter through 1757, the final ten volumes of text together in 1765, and eleven volumes of plates which appeared periodically thereafter through 1772. [Robert Darnton. The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopédie 1775-1800. Harvard University Press. Cambridge (USA), 1979. ISBN 0-674-08785-2. 5-14.] The original publishing syndicate was established in October 1745. (16) Interestingly, Darnton's book focuses on the later publishing history of L'Encyclopédie beginning with the fifth edition. Simmaren (talk) 17:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


Dates that don't appear on the timelines used as sources[edit]

Should we look for other sources? More European? Awadewit | talk 18:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I take it that these are dates people suggested be added? I like the idea of a more European flavour to the time line, abstractly, but responding to these requests/additions will take some time and could run us ragged. Is there a principle on which to pick a few for immediate attention? Perhaps the policy should be that suggestions/additions are welcome but nothing gets added unless the person wanting the addition provides the reliable source? Simmaren (talk) 04:16, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

  • These were all added by Willow and none of them appeared in the sources I used to construct the timeline originally. The entries she added that were included on those timelines, I left int. I do worry about having too much of a German flavor, if we are not also going to have French. However, Austen was not really influenced by European literary traditions, so I am reluctant to include anything but the most important works, such as Faust. Awadewit | talk 06:04, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I added these mainly to fill in the gaps in the time-lines for literature and history. I'll be happy to find scholarly sources stating that these were significant events in the history of European literature, if you agreed with the general idea of including such events. I did rack my brains for famous French works of literature that were published in those years, but my memory failed me there; I could only come up with works before 1765 or after 1817. :(
Please allow me one more word in defense of including historical/literature events that did not directly impact Jane Austen. I appreciate that we can't possibly list everything that was happening in, say, Timbuktu and Ulan Bator, and I know you have to draw the line somewhere. I also see the danger that readers might imagine incorrectly that Jane Austen was influenced directly by the culture on the Continent. But I can't help but feel that placing Austen in the context of her Continental contemporaries of culture (literature, music, art) would be beneficial to most non-specialist readers. Experts in English literature will appreciate the important of Otranto and Rackrent, but such people won't need or use a Wikipedian timeline for Jane Austen, will they? By contrast, I can imagine many readers may have only the dimmest understanding of the wealth of 18th century novels but can recite the Ode to Joy verbatim or give the opening motif of Beethoven's 5th symphony. Such readers may be vaguely familiar with Mozart, Kant, Diderot, Burns and Schiller but might not realize that they were alive at the same time that Jane Austen was. By contrast, I don't think we can assume that everyone will know who Charlotte Smith, Oliver Goldsmith or even Samuel Johnson were; so I feel that it helps everyone (living readers and the memory of dead writers) to include both types of information, to pepper the unfamiliar with the familiar. I'm not defending my particular choices of how to do that, just the general principle of reaching out to less well-acquainted readers. Willow (talk) 12:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

New style for the timeline[edit]

Currently, the timeline doesn't have any significant authorial deaths on it - only publications. What do we think about adding these? Awadewit | talk 19:16, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


As much as I love classical, I have removed the musical history because Austen would have had no chance to see or hear the premiere of Mozart of Beethoven's works. Also, I already had to remove much of the scientific history for the Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft to get through FLC since it was "tangential" to MW. Music is just as tangential to Austen, I'm afraid. Awadewit | talk 19:28, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I know that you love music. :) But please consider that, by the same criterion, politics and the passage of various bills in Parliament seem just as tangential to Jane Austen and her life? For example, is there actually a source somewhere that says, "Passage of the Corn Laws affected Jane Austen thus" and the other historical facts? It could very well be, but I would admit to being pleasantly surprised if there were. :) Willow (talk) 19:44, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there are some critics who feel rather strongly that Austen was a political writer, so knowing what was happening during her lifetime would be crucial to understanding her political writings. As you will see when Simmaren and I finally finish the "Style and themes" part of JA article, this is perhaps the most contentious part of Austen scholarship - how political was Austen? Edward Said has famously written that she was a colonialist writer (relying on Mansfield Park). Awadewit | talk 19:53, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Thoughts on music:
One of the purposes of the time line is to provide a context for the interested reader. If we are concerned with broad intellectual, cultural and social currents and events, the context should not be limited to what JA experienced or heard about. Simmaren (talk) 23:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
We know that JA practiced the pianoforte regularly and therefore had an interest in music. Patrick Piggott, "Music," The Jane Austen Companion, pp. 314-316, says that Austen's personal collection of music included pieces by J. C. Bach, Corelli, Handel, Gluck and Hayden, that the major part of the collection consists of trivia best described as "pretty," and that there is no evidence of music by Mozart or Beethoven. Simmaren (talk) 23:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I was too pressed for time to complete my thoughts here. The clear import of Piggott's article is that Austen played the pianoforte for her own pleasure and that her pleasure derived for the most part from "easy pieces." Simmaren (talk) 19:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
If we're pressed for space, that's a different matter. Simmaren (talk) 23:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
See Talk:Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft#Including history for why I am skittish now. Awadewit | talk 23:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
As you can tell, I'm with WillowW on this issue. I did look at the discussion you referred me to, and saw that you ran into an apparent roadblock with Circeus. I understand your skittishness. I don't know Circeus. While his web page suggests that he's a solid WP citizen, he's just wrong on this issue. He provides no real principle on which to distinguish between what rightfully belongs in a list like this and what should be excluded. I think he's forgetting the audience for which WP in general and our work in particular is aimed. General readers, high school students and college students need context to be able to fit JA into what they already know and are in the process of learning. I would prefer to go into WP:FLC with a list we think is the best we can do and let others make their objections at that point. We will have supporters, and we will have the better argument. Simmaren (talk) 23:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Circeus is one of the main contributors at WP:FLC and it is always good to try to achieve consensus - we will achieve nothing by being intractable on this issue. By the way, I am not so philosophically separated from you and Willow (as you can tell from the linked discussion). However, I do worry about "addition-itis". Once we start down this road, where do we end? I thought of this timeline as a very stripped down version of history with a decent addition of literary history (relevant because Austen was a writer). If we start to add musical history, we are going to have to add scientific history and a bunch of other things. Just as if we add Kant, we are going to have add a bunch of other philosophers. My continuing mantra has been to rely on the sources I had. I would prefer to rely on sources rather than go looking for citations for things we want to add. If you guys can find a couple of good European timelines, I would feel more comfortable, but please remember that don't want to dwarf Austen by a history of Europe in the other column. Awadewit | talk 01:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

What happened to the 1780s?[edit]

The 1780s heading is gone? What happened? I'm currently trying to fix it. I hate tables! Awadewit | talk 19:07, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Wait, we're missing like a decade now. Ah! Awadewit | talk 19:11, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Never mind, I fixed it. Awadewit | talk 19:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

More liberal inclusion criteria?[edit]

Hi, I'm guessing that your note pertains to my additions? I think I understand the problem, and I also appreciate your prestissime work finding sources for the Samuel Johnson and Lessing works! :) But can I argue for a slightly more liberal criterion for inclusion, especially if a box has been left blank?

My understanding is that the goal is to place Jane Austen in the context of her contemporary history and literature, even if she wasn't directly affected by it. if we agree on that, my own feeling is that we do our readers a disservice if we withhold helpful information from which they might be likelier to orient themselves in history, especially if we offer no equivalent information.

I've definitely tried to prefer adding British works to empty years (such as those by Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Johnson and Robert Burns) rather than non-British. (I definitely see that the Thelyphthoras are insignificant; it was just a neat connection with Cowper and JJ.) But I also think it useful and good to include a few references to the contemporary literature of the Continent (such as Diderot, Voltaire, Schiller, Goethe and Lessing) as well as epochal musical works (such as Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Mozart's Magic Flute). They provide a good context for Jane Austen's place in history and European literature of the era; I think you must agree, too, since Goethe's Faust was included before. (Aside: the publication date for Faust is incorrect, I believe.) With all respect for the works of Charlotte Smith, William Wilberforce and Edmund Burke, Beethoven's 5th and the Ode to Joy seem much more likely to be known to non-specialists around the world, don't you agree? Doesn't it seem good and practical for our goal to have both? Conversely, I don't see the point of cutting them in favor of events and works that few non-scholars will be familiar with — what purpose does that serve?

But perhaps I've misunderstood the goal. If the scope of the article is restricted to the factors that influenced her and her writing directly, then we might indeed have to eliminate Beethoven and Schiller for lack of a reliable source showing their connection to Jane Austen. But that goal seems overly restrictive; would we then have to find a reliable source connecting Jane Austen with every individual fact on the present timeline? Willow (talk) 19:33, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I think there are several goals: Show Austen's milieu as she understood it (sometimes this includes familiar writers); show Austen to readers in a milieu they recognize; show Austen in a large historical sweep. I sympathize with your desire to include continental literature, and I left in as many as I could, but Austen herself was not influenced by many of those writers and I wonder if the timeline now suggests she kind of was (I don't know, I'm just asking). In the Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft, I used to have many more scientific discoveries, but I was persuaded to take those out, as they were not directly relevant to MW either. However, they are just the kind of "broad historical sweep" that I had wanted to include to make history more than politics. Unfortunately, few people agreed with me on that. When I took that timeline through FLC last time, I really had to argue for the non-author columns - many people saw them as irrelevant or subjective. We, I think, are much closer in philosophy. However, I guess I am skittish now and am mindful of the criticism from last time. *sigh* Awadewit | talk 20:00, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

PS. I'll include my few other suggestions on my Talk page, so that we don't accidentally have any edit clashes here. They're really minor, though! :) Willow (talk) 19:36, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Willow's suggestions for the Jane Austen timeline[edit]

[Copied from User talk:WillowW Awadewit | talk 22:45, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

  • The timeline reads excellently, especially the lead section. You might consider adding another paragraph, however, to give the reader a fuller introduction to the cast of characters occurring in column 1. It was rather hard to keep all her brothers and their wives straight, (I'm usually good at that!) and then there's the problem of discerning her father George from her brothers, esp. George and James, who also became a minister (the title "Revd." seems ambiguous?). You might want to prepare the reader in the lead by saying exactly how many siblings she had, and introducing the family members by name, and perhaps some of the more important friends, such as the Leigh-Parrots and the Lefroys. Some people will also want a list of Jane Austen's potential suitors, tied to the year for quick reference. A thumbnail timeline of her dwellings over the years (perhaps with a little map?) in the lead might be helpful (see below); for example, some readers will wonder where Steventon is the first time they see it? :)
  • This is an excellent suggestion. Simmaren, as you are the Austen family expert, could you do this? I will try to get some wiki-friends to make a family tree and a map. Why don't we list all of the places we need on the map here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Awadewit (talkcontribs) 22:53, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I think this is the complete list. Awadewit | talk 23:18, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
You'll make the map? Oh, oops, because I already asked Ruhrfisch. Let me know if you want me to unask him. I also asked Mike Christie to make us a family tree. Awadewit | talk 06:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Ruhrfisch is welcome to the map - I shudder to think what I might produce, graphically speaking. Lots of stick figures—I was missing the day that graphical talent genes were passed out. Awadewit mentioned having others do the family tree and map, so I will limit myself to the textual introduction to the main characters that Willow suggested. I want to play with a couple of ideas so it may be two days or so. I'll post a draft here. I'd be happy to consult with whoever is working on the family tree and map. There are a couple of detailed family trees in the back of the 1913 edition of Austen-Leigh and Austen-Leigh, which I could perhaps scan and send by e.mail to the appropriate person. I think this work is out of copyright. Simmaren (talk) 19:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have now sent Mike the trees. If he has any questions about who to include, etc., can I direct him to you, Simmaren? You are much more familiar with Austen's family than I. Awadewit | talk 03:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd be happy to work with Mike, and to make his acquaintance. Simmaren (talk) 19:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • In the 1797 history, you might mention that the mutinies provided the historical backdrop for Billy Budd, which many of your likely readers will be familiar with, I think.
  • As this is a later, American work, I think it is probably not appropriate for the timeline. Awadewit | talk 06:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • In the 1794 history, you might do more to show the significance of the suspension of habeas corpus, e.g., that it was first introduced in 1215 with the Magna Carta. The corpus needn't be capitalized.
  • Again, this really goes outside the scope of the timeline, I think. If this were a timeline primarily about political history, I might consider it, but we have to figure out how to draw lines. If we do this for this historical entry, we would have to do it for many more, ballooning the size of the timeline. I'm just trying to establish some parameters for the timeline. Awadewit | talk 06:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • It was hard to keep track of where Jane was when she was writing different works? The location of the other characters is not as important, but I think it would be good to keep Jane and her location in stronger focus.
  • I agree this is important - Simmaren could you help out with this? You added a lot of JA's travels. Awadewit | talk 06:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, happy to. I will consult sources and add locations to the time line itself. Simmaren (talk) 19:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The dozen-some empty boxes in literature and history still seem unsightly, and withholding helpful contextual information from readers seems inconsistent with an encyclopedia's goals, doesn't it? Still, I should probably draw out those FAC critics (or re-read their words) to help me understand their views better. You should do however seems best for you, although I playfully defy you to produce the scholarly work that says, "The Corn Laws influenced Jane Austen thus". ;) Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again, Willow (talk) 20:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I actually think the empty boxes are good - the reader isn't overwhelmed at every moment with text and eventful years are easily discerned (such as 1789). I am wary of making years look more significant than they are. By the way, most of the Corn Laws were passed after Austen's death, but I bet you that I can find what you are looking for in relation to some other law - for example, property laws. You see, there is so much written on Austen, that you can pretty much find whatever you want to find. :) Don't tempt me! Awadewit | talk 06:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I re-read the discussion from the Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft, and I do see how similar our viewpoints are. :) Let me think about the difficulty further; perhaps we can find an amicable solution for everyone? Willow (talk) 12:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure we can (see additional comment in above section) - I suggested finding some sources to guide us. Having source timelines grounds me. :) Awadewit | talk 01:12, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


  • The draft of the introductory material Willow suggested may be found here: Jane Austen Time Line: The Guide for the Perplexed. I put it in my sandbox to allow us the freedom to experiment. Please feel free to play with it. I took my cues as to subject matter and scope from Willow's comments, which I though were excellent. The Introduction is more than one paragraph long, but I though subheadings would be useful to readers in finding what they need. Simmaren (talk) 20:54, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Do you think we should try to integrate this into the current introduction or have a separate section? Awadewit | talk 16:51, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I think this should be separate, a new section after the contents box. I see this material and the lead as having different purposes. Simmaren (talk) 19:33, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm concerned that it's too long - that is easier to see on my office computer which has mediocre resolution. On the other hand, approximately this much is needed to cover the necessary people, places and events. I can think of a sentence or two to remove (Samuel Blackall and Edward Bridges among the suitors, much as I like the substance - can these be added to the main article?) but not much more than that without compromising its function. But my viewpoint may be still too close to the thing. Simmaren (talk) 19:33, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I will work on editing it later today or tomorrow. Perhaps some judicious copy editing will help the situation. Awadewit | talk 20:18, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Now that I have drastically cut it, I think we might be able to work it into the lead. :) See what you think. Remember, we are going to have an entire page on the family. Awadewit | talk 01:20, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • What's going on with the new lead? What did you think of my drastic cuts? Awadewit | talk 03:40, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm behind, as seems usual these days. I will do my best to stay in the game. There is enormous competition for computer time at my house right now and I'm losing badly. Simmaren (talk) 19:14, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The edits to the Timeline lead and the edits to the Cast of Characters seem generally fine. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't describe them as "drastic." I've made one small change to the CoC. I'm not sure about the deletion (as opposed to some sort of shortening) of the material on Tom Fowle, Cassandra's fiancé. It is a JA timeline, of course, and there is the point that including Tom Fowle might confuse the reader, but Fowle does appear in the Timeline and Cassanda was so important to Jane that some mention of him in the CofC on balance seems useful, if only to keep readers of the Timeline from thinking Jane was engaged to him. Simmaren (talk) 19:14, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Your point about the JA Family page is a good one. We can eventually have a Main Article cross-reference for those interested in details. That will help. Simmaren (talk) 22:56, 3 February 2008 (UTC)


For some reason, I cannot add the ISBN (O582492602) for Gary Kelly's book. Can someone else try? Thanks. Awadewit | talk 16:49, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

To do list[edit]

  • We need a map with locations mentioned on the timeline
  • This is in progress
  • We need a family tree illustrating the connections between people mentioned
  • This is in progress
  • One of the "family trees," dealing with Austen's parents, siblings and cousin, has been added. We need to consider whether the second (nieces and nephews) should be included. I'm inclined to do so, as the births and later activities of various nieces and nephews are noted in the time line. Placement would be an issue - lower in the lead would be best, I think, even if the "tree" doesn't relate directly to the text next to which it is placed. Simmaren (talk) 01:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I've double-stacked the family trees - let me know what you think. Awadewit | talk 02:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Double-stacking is a good solution. Thanks. Simmaren (talk) 03:28, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • We need to rewrite the lead to better introduce the family background
  • This is in progress here
  • This has now been inserted and we should edit it here Awadewit | talk 05:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
  • We need to sort out the philosophy behind the timeline - what kinds of items are going to be included
  • Austen's life is nailed down because the sources are clear
  • Literary timeline - how European should it be? how many different genres of literature should it include? Philosophy, for example?
  • I expressed my view earlier that the literary and historical columns are principally useful for the purpose of providing context to orient the non-specialist reader and should not be limited to things Jane Austen read or knew. Given the absence of biographical evidence, we don't know all (or even most) of what Jane Austen read or knew, although we can make well-educated guesses as to her reading based on available evidence. Accordingly, in my opinion, items of significance should be included in areas such as music, science, and military and political history, as has been done. Simmaren (talk) 19:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • What do you think should be added? Awadewit | talk 03:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

[More to come] Simmaren (talk) 03:38, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Historical timeline - how many different topics should it include? Science? Music?
  • My question here is: how much should we expand? Music and science are missing, for example. Science is missing because other editors objected when I included that on the Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft. I didn't include music because I thought it was going too far afield - what about the visual arts, then? The question then becomes: where do we stop? What do you think needs to be added to the timeline to fulfill the needs to the non-specialist and what sources would you use? Awadewit | talk 00:30, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The historical time line lists only a few items I consider even slightly "off point": Royal Academy, Watt's steam engine, Montgolfier brothers, Religious Tract Society, Robert Owen, Luddites, Elgin marbles. These are concentrated toward the earlier years. They are all fine and there is room to add (let's say) a dozen more or so without unbalancing the presentation. Topics: science and technology, economy (Malthus is there, I'll add Smith), music and art. Simmaren (talk) 03:38, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • What timelines do you want to use as sources? Awadewit | talk 06:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't have a particular chronology in mind. I hope to be able to source most (if not all) items from books on hand - why else have I accumulated so many? If you e.mail me a list of items, or list them here, I will go to work. Simmaren (talk) 00:24, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, that is precisely what I don't want to do. Before I could say that the timeline was not original research because it was based on other timelines. However, if we starting adding individual items because we want them there, it will start to become so. That is why I am so keen on using other timelines as sources - preferably two or more. Almost every entry on the original timeline was on at least two timelines. I don't want the timeline to be our idea of what is important - I want it to show what other scholars think is important. I am actually comfortable with how it is now. With the newly expanded introduction, I think a more restrictive timeline makes even more sense - that is what is explained at the outset. Let me know what you think. Awadewit | talk 00:35, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I understand your point about original research - in different contexts, OR can mean different things. My overall evaluation of the article is expressed below. Why don't we prune a couple of the German literature listings and move on. Simmaren (talk) 04:28, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I removed the "outlying" events you mentioned (except the formation of the Religious Tract Society, which is less outlying, I think) and renamed the categories "Literary history" and "Political history". What do you think? Awadewit | talk 14:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with your earlier comment that the foreign literature listings are heavy on German literature and light on French literature. The balance needs correction, by addition or subtraction. If we decide to add, I will undertake to source the new items. Simmaren (talk) 00:24, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I would add some French and remove the German philosophy, as we don't focus on British philosophy. Awadewit | talk 00:35, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • This article is very, very good in its current state. I will try to deal with MOS picture/article alignment issues tomorrow. Simmaren (talk) 00:24, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • What issues, exactly? Awadewit | talk 00:35, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The MOS talk discussion of whether all pictures and tables of content should be aligned a certain way. Simmaren (talk) 04:28, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I still don't understand this. The top image seems to me to be correctly left-aligned and I don't think we can reasonably right-align any of the little images without running into problems in the table. Awadewit | talk 06:18, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Input is much appreciated. Awadewit | talk 15:53, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

  • We have one citation needed tag. Awadewit | talk 05:09, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I have done one sweep of proofreading and copy editing. Awadewit | talk 00:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I've done a second. Simmaren (talk) 03:29, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I've rechecked all of the links. Awadewit | talk 01:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


Awadewit: I'm sure you are correct that "ministerial" is correct and the reversion is fine if the term I used was not. My change was motivated by a concern that "ministerial" might not be understood by "the average reader not a specialist in the field" and might attract undue attention at FLR. It is a somewhat technical term of politics (it has an even more specialized meaning in my own professional field - perhaps that's why it caught my eye). Is there another term that would do the job and be more accessible at the same time? Perhaps "government sponsored" or "government-backed" or "government instigated" would work. You know the history on this, so please make the call and I will abide. Thanks. Simmaren (talk) 19:35, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

  • "Government-sponsored" sounds fine to me. ("Tory radical" sounded odd to my ears as "radicals" tended to be on the opposite side of the political spectrum as "Tories" at this time.) Awadewit | talk 00:26, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Unexplained removal of images[edit]

Why were the images removed? They were a very attractive feature of the timeline. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:34, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello Mike, yes I think that was my fault. As it's been nominated at WP:TFL I thought it best to tidy it up.. In tidying it up, one of my suggestions was to remove the (seemingly) random distribution of images. Of course, this was just my opinion but User:Neelix has acted upon this suggestion and removed them all. I wouldn't really object to them being replaced as long as the table will still be accessible. My profound apologies about this. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:23, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
No apology needed! I do think they looked attractive; lists can be rather grey to look at and they both decorated and informed the reader. Is there any layout reason that should limit the use of images in a list, or any accessibility concerns? I think they all had alt text, for example. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:50, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think there's an issue with the images being there in terms of accessibility on reflection. I'm not sure how screen readers deal with tables, text and images all together, but right now I don't see a good reason to not re-add them. Sorry again! The Rambling Man (talk) 14:52, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
OK. I'm about to have to leave where I am and don't want to do half the job, so when I get back to the house I'll revert to the version with images and see if I can redo any other useful interim edits. Thanks -- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:54, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd like to schedule it in soon as a TFL so anything you can do to ensure its quality would be gratefully received. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:58, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Done -- it looks like the only missing change is the dashes, so perhaps you could rerun that script? I'll look through the article again and fix anything else I see, but if it's like most of Awadewit's work there won't be much that can be done to improve it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Done deal, dashes done, delightful. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:27, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Georgian society in Jane Austen's novels[edit]

It might be useful to link to this article (even though it's incomplete), but I'm not sure where to place the link since Georgian already links to the general article. What does anyone think? Awien (talk) 00:19, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Mary Lascelles, Jane Austen and Her Art, Oxford: Oxford University Press (1939), 2.
  2. ^ Le Faye, "Chronology", 2-3; Grundy, "Jane Austen and Literary Traditions", 190-91; Tomalin, 28-29, 33-43, 66-67; Honan, 31-34; Lascelles, 7-8.
  3. ^ Honan, 213-14; Tomalin, 194-206.
  4. ^ Kathryn Sutherland, "Chronology of Composition and Publication" in Jane Austen in Context, 13.
  5. ^ Brian Southam, "Criticism, 1870-1940", in J. David Grey, ed., The Jane Austen Companion, New York: Macmillan (1986), 102.
  6. ^ A. Walton Litz, Jane Austen: A Study of Her Artistic Development New York: Oxford University Press (1965), 3-14; Mary Waldron, "Critical Responses, Early" in Janet Todd, ed., Jane Austen in Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2005), 83, 89-90; Joseph Duffy, "Criticism, 1814-1870", in The Jane Austen Companion, 93-94; Oliver MacDonagh, Jane Austen: Real and Imagined Worlds, New Haven: Yale University Press, (1991), 65, 136-37.
  7. ^ Janet Todd, The Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2006), 13-14.
  8. ^ Todd, 14-15.