October 11, 2021

What Would Jane Austen Have Ordered if She Had Amazon?

A  few months back I revealed my winter reading list, and invited you to share with me your own winter/summer line up, depending on where you are in the world. But while I was writing that post, I began to wonder: if Jane Austen had had access to Amazon, what exactly would she have picked out for herself? (Besides a Thermomix and a Kindle). Just what did Jane Austen read on a rainy afternoon when she wanted to curl up with a glass of hot negus and a good book? If you want to know what negus is there is a blog on my website.

Austen mentions several books that she seems to favour in her letters and novels, as well as ones that she would have been familiar with, including those which she allows her characters to be fans of, so I thought I would make a list of books which she appears to favour – and which she might, if she had had Amazon, have ordered for her own winter/summer vacation reading fare. On researching, I found a really comprehesive list which someone had already compiled, saving me the trouble! It was on a great little website called Bookriot, a book recommendations and literary chat website. I had a look around and it seems like pretty cool place to hang out if you are a book lover. While the purpose of this blog is not usually to talk up other websites, but as a reader myself I could not help being impressed by this one, especially as they had this page on Jane Austen all written up. The link to Bookriot is below, which will take interested readers to the page on Jane Austen, where you can peruse this list and even better, you can apparently download free version of these books. How cool!


Okay, so below is a list of some of the books which Jane Austen was at least familiar with and would likely have read herself. Some of these appear in her letters to family members, and some of them appear as ‘mentions’ in her own novels. I’ve no doubt there would have been many more, (including Pamela, by Samuel Richardson—a long book, and quite didactic in style, and as I recall I think it is epistolary in form, ((letters)) but I really enjoyed it in any case) and other works by the novelists mentioned below. In any case, these are a great start; hopefully, like myself, you will find that there is something satisfying in knowing you are reading something Jane Austen read and enjoyed!

  • 1752 – Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennon
  • 1753 – The History of Sir Charles Grandison by Samuel Richardson
  • 1778 – Evelina by Frances Burney
  • 1782 – Cecilia; Memoirs of an Heiress by Frances Burney
  • 1783 – Adelaide and Theodore, or Letters on Education by Madame de Genlis
  • 1785 – The Task: A Poem, in Six Books by William Cowper
  • 1791 – The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
  • 1794 – The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
  • 1796 – Camilla: A Picture of Youth by Frances Burney
  • 1796 – The Monk by Mathew Lewis
  • 1798 – A Practical Education by Maria Edgeworth
  • 1800 – Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
  • 1801 – Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
  • 1801 – The Children of the Abbey, a Tale by Regina Maria Roche
  • 1806 – Letters from The Mountains by Anne Grant
  • 1808 – Calebs in Search of a Wife by Hannah More
  • 1808 – Marmion (poem) by Sir Walter Scott
  • 1809 – Woman; or, Ida of Athens by Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan
  • 1810 – The Lady of the Lake (poem) by Sir Walter Scott
  • 1811 – Self Control by Mary Brunton
  • 1813 – The Heroine; or, Adventures of a Fair Romance Reader by Eaton Stannard Barrett
  • 1814 – The Corsair by Lord Byron
  • 1814 – Alicia De Lacy, an Historical Romance by Jane West
  • 1814 – Patronage by Maria Edgeworth
  • 1814 – The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties by Frances Burney
  • 1814 – Waverly by Sir Walter Scott
  • 1816 – The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott
  • 1816 – A Narrative of the Events… by Helen Maria Williams
Kate Westwood regency romance site decoration


Kate Westwood regency romance site decoration
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