Immerse yourself in the vanished world inhabited by Austen s contemporaries. Packed with detail, and anecdotes, this is an intimate exploration of how the middle and upper classes lived from 1775, the year of Austen s birth, to the coronation of George IV in 1820. Sue Wilkes skillfully conjures up all aspects of daily life within the period, drawing on contemporary diaries, illustrations, letters, novels, travel literature and archives. Were all unmarried affluent men really 'in want of a wife'?Where would a young lady seek adventures?Would taking the waters at Bath and other spas kill or cure you?Was Lizzy Bennet bitten by bed-bugs while traveling?What would you wear to a country ball, or a dance at Almack s?Would Mr Darcy have worn a corset?What hidden horrors lurked in elegant Regency houses?Put on your dancing gloves and embrace a lost era of corsets and courtship!REVIEWS This is an ingenious volume. The author, who has written extensively on social history and on genealogy, provides us with a detailed guide book to the habits, facilities, sights and values of Southern England in the early 19th century. Her walk-through of the territory is attractively supported by extensive quotations from the works of Jane Austen herself and from contemporaries. The text is lively and well arranged and the anecdotes relevant and illuminating. This is a book which Janites will enjoy and which will provide an informative context to the novels. Federation of Family History Societies."