Study Guide

Jane Austen In Love

In Love

In 1801, Austen's father retired and decided that the family should move to Bath, England. Though she was reluctant to leave Steventon, the only home she had known, Austen agreed to move with her parents to the English resort town (she really didn't have much choice; it was unthinkable that an unmarried woman should live with anyone but family). Austen was by then in her mid-twenties: prime marrying years. So far, however, she had come up unlucky in love. In December 1795 she had met an Irish law student named Tom LeFroy while he was visiting her neighbor in Steventon. The two engaged in some gentle flirtation—Austen wrote jokingly to Cassandra that the two had been "profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together" she wrote her sister.

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