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               Jane  Austen 

Original Research Draft No 1 

      Who was the real life "Mr. Darcy" of  the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Or rather perhaps who was the original Mr. Darcy in First Impressions as Pride and Prejudice was originally titled. So far as I am aware nobody knows. Was there ever an original Mr. Darcy. There are many who believe that there may have been an original person who provided Jane Austen with the inspiration at least, for the character Mr. Darcy. 

      Names have been tendered. Books have been written proposing various characters as the original for Mr. Darcy.  There are bound to be suggestions as to who such a famous well drawn character might have been, based upon the fact that so many think there was an original Mr. Darcy.  But nobody really knows.  Could he have been a complete figment of Jane Austen's imagination, or a composite of the many people she knew or was there a real life individual who provided her with the inspiration. 


     Before discovering and publishing online my very recently uncovered findings I would have personally thought that there was a real life character who provided many of the "factual" details of appearance and position in society. The opening line sounds like it could be real dialogue borrowed from life. The ball sounds like the description of a real ball.  Darcy, arrogantly walking around sounds like the actions of a real individual.  The marriage proposal and refusal to and by Lizzie certainly feels as if there could be a basis in reality.  Even when Lizzie and Darcy meet again by chance has the feel of some basis in reality too and so on.  But perhaps nothing as regards plot, character, actions, and behaviour.  It would be no real surprise if an author borrowed from real life. To some extent all authors use something from real life. 

      But in the last few weeks of February 2018, I may have found a candidate for Mr. Darcy not so far considered. In my opinion he is far a  superior  candidate than others so far suggested.  Almost everything that Jane Austen tells us about Darcy, the snippets of detail for example a sister, an only sibling,  worth 30,000 pounds just like Darcy  this man seems to possess to an uncanny degree.    

      I discovered his existence whilst researching the author of the manuscript that my blog Wisden's Secret is primarily about Francis Emilius Cary Elwes, the man who I believe on the content of the ms. I am blogging about was in part at least the creator of Wisden's Almanack. (See foot of page)* 

      I looked for details about his family and friends and when I initially came across this gentleman candidate, who was Francis Emilius Cary Elwes's father I thought or rather a little voice inside me said "he could be Mr. Darcy." His main assets in this regard as far as I could see at the time were  that he was very rich and had been from a young age. 

I thought no more about this until a few days ago (February 2018) when thinking what to put in something I at the time but since changed termed an Interlude.  So out of curiosity and just to make sure I looked his name up to see what could be found out about him and whether there was any possibility that he could be the original Mr. Darcy. There are three things that need to be ascertained and can be checked quickly for there to be the remotest chance of him being Mr. Darcy.  

      They are: - Was he rich ? - Was he young? - Was he single?  when Jane Austen began First Impressions. 

I already knew from earlier research into his son Francis that he might be rich but I quickly found out that his father died when he was young, aged about 10 and left him a huge amount quite possibly £10,000 a year or more which he most probably inherited at his coming of age 21. He was young too, in 1795/96 he was 23/24 and he was single. 

     A promising start. What else might be needed for there to be any hope of him being the original Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen gives several clues about him. For example.  He was an only son, as described earlier he had a sister, a sister worth £30,000, he was not a nobleman but a plain Mr.  He had it in his power to gift a church living, he owned a huge estate up north and he was clever. All of these things, and more this man I have found had in common with Mr. Darcy.  Aside from this though, the man I have found provides many other links to the book. Particularly Ware, or Meryton as she named it, is based as many think upon the town of Ware, a town that Jane Austen appears to know very well despite never having been there.  Ware however is a town where this man and his only sibling, a sister, must have known well because that is a town close to where they grew up.   The town of Ware was about 13 miles away from one of the estates their father owned. 


      To be considered also is what Jane Austen does not tell us about Darcy that is also true for Elwes. She does not say he served in the army or a militia or navy or was a solicitor or any of the other occupations a man like Darcy might have spent time engaged in particularly with the Napoleonic War in progress. Darcy is a gentleman, nothing more, nothing less, who lives life entirely as a gentleman with no financial pressures or any other pressures to do anything other than live life entirely as he pleased.  Elwes is exactly the same. 

      But I asked myself could Jane Austen have met this man? It is certainly not impossible but Yes!  I found that she could have met him but even if she did not actually meet him it is highly likely that she may have heard of him and that there were occasions when he could have been very close to Jane Austen and talking to people she knew in Winchester. She could also however have known of him for several years from another source much closer to home. 

      The more I looked the closer he came. So let’s start with the name Darcy.  Where did Jane Austen find that name?  A figment of her imagination perhaps? If so why Darcy, why not Smith or Jones or any other of the tens of thousands of names that exist?  Authors in general take a lot of care over characters names especially central characters. 

      Surely an unusual name like Fitzwilliam Darcy does not arrive unbidden and without some careful thought. Maybe the name did spring  carelessly from her imagination.  "Oh, Fitzwilliam Darcy.  That's a nice name " But I dont think so.  For an author as clever as Jane Austen one  would expect something a little better.   

  But  if you have this man’s name it becomes simplicity to suggest a possibility based around a word play as to where and how the name Darcy originated. Jane Austen enjoyed word games. The British library owns a set of ivory letters that used to belong to Jane Austen and with which word games could obviously be played. I have never heard the suggestion below as being the origin as to where the name Darcy may have sprung. So this is a first timer. (Due to one persons misunderstanding I must add that when I ask where did Jane Austen find that name I am not posing a question as to its historical, geographical, linguistic or etymological etc origins interesting as they maybe, but its artistic and imaginative origins.) 


     Suppose for argument's sake that Jane Austen knew a man whose real name she wanted to disguise. How might she do it. Here is one way.  Suppose this man's surname to be  Cray. What might she do to disguise it. Well she could try and Gallicize it like this Richard Le Cray, Le Cary, Le Racy, or L'Arcy.  Doesn't work.  What about using De. Here we get Richard De Cray, De Cary, De Racy, or D'Arcy. Add some magic, abracadabra, and eliminate the apostrophe and thus, could the name of Darcy have been created with this simple name game. 

      Or maybe in just playing with letters and adding a D to the Cray and looking for a name anagram the name Darcy appeared. This would be a simple way of disguising his identity. A name game which is of a type Jane Austen with her enjoyment of word games might well have liked. (See Emma /Dixon) 

      Either way her original audience of family members would have easily recognised him if there was indeed a "Mr. Darcy" and because mimicry is funny would have enjoyed her portrayal read aloud? of such a man. 

      Could this man have had his name disguised in such a way?  Yes he could if he had the right name to start with and this man, lo and behold did. For his name was Robert CARY Elwes and in 1795 when Jane Austen began First Impressions later to become Pride and Prejudice he was a very rich, young man with no wife.  Is Cary to Darcy and Darcy to Cary the first Easter Egg that I have found.  I think he is. 

Robert Cary Elwes Esq.

(the Real Mr.  Darcy?)

A photograph of a portrait of Robert Cary Elwes

aged about 18 painted by Ludwig Guttenbrun

famous 18th/19th century portrait artist.

Its the only image I have been able to locate of

Robert Cary Elwes.   It was published in 1932 by

the  Connoisseur magazine.  This journal ceased

publication decades ago.  It has not been possible

to either trace copyright or to find out even if 

 copyright still exist.  There is more later about

RCE in Paris.  The current whereabouts of this

portrait is unknown despite efforts to trace it  























      I have checked this man's name on the births, deaths, marriages and elsewhere etc to find out about him and to see if he provides other links to Pride and Prejudice.  He most surely does. The first link that I found came from his early life and the obvious closeness of his connections to Hertfordshire that are to be found.  There is no proof only conjecture as to how Jane Austen appears to be so well informed about Hertfordshire (some cousins many times removed is the official, unproven!, best guess! version and regaled as the absolute unquestionable truth  that that is how she must have known details of Hertfordshire despite never having been there.  I am paraphrasing a little but this is pretty much the story that Maureen Stiller, (JAS) Deidre Le Fay (Expert) and few others have presented to me.  But if she did meet Robert Cary Elwes he would be an undeniably good source for knowledge of  life in Hertfordshire near the town of Ware given that one of his  estates was just  a few miles north of Ware.   

      He was born on the 28th of July 1772.  He may well have been born in a small village called Throcking.  The small village of Throcking is less than 15 miles away from both Hertford and Ware in the county of Hertfordshire. The village of Throcking looks now as it probably was then a very rural small village with very few buildings in it apart from the manor since demolished, a large, now converted barn, a parsonage and church. How promisingly auspicious. If there is one county where I would hope to find him Robert Cary Elwes it would be Hertfordshire and if there is one town I would wish to find him anywhere near it would be the towns of either Hertford and Ware, particularly Ware, the generally accepted most likely location for the fictional Meryton.  He certainly lived for a time at Throcking because his parents owned Throcking Manor.  His parents were Cary Elwes also born in Throcking and Elizabeth Elwes born Holgate.  Throcking Hall was a magnificent mansion built circa 1743 that reputedly cost £11,000 but was later demolished. Cary Elwes, his father died in 1782 leaving most of his estate  to Robert but also a substantial amount 30,000 pounds to Elizabeth his sister who if Robert died before the age of 21 would have inherited the lot. 


   In common with Darcy he has only one sister.  His sister Elizabeth was born 1771 and married Rev. Robert Cary Barnard (see Burke's Genealogical.... )  Other relatives with the name  Barnard will be met with a little later.  

     Elizabeth his sister is of course older than Darcy's sister Georgiana but obviously Georgiana's role could not have worked as it did if she was older. However Elizabeth his sister like Georgiana was also worth £30,000. Her father had left her £20,000 upon reaching the age of 21 and a further £10,000 was to come to her the day she married. 


     Was Robert Cary Elwes clever? Well he appears in the list of Cambridge Alumni so I would guess yes he probably was clever. The executor account for his fathers will, seems to show that he was privately tutored by one of its executors Rev. Charles Drake Barnard (a later chaplain to the Earl of Oxford) another member of the Barnard family whose lives are weaved generationally with the Elwes family. (He was a brother of 2 of the Senior Prebendarys at Winchester in the late 18th century and brother also to Rev. Thomas Barnard vicar of Great Amwell 1793 see more below) and its reasonable I think to assume that his education was good and that he went to Cambridge because he was possibly clever.  Throcking was not the only estate that Robert inherited. He inherited estates at Roxby and Bigby in Lincolnshire (sizes currently  unknown) and Egton in Yorkshire. Egton in particular was a huge estate covering 12,500 acres about 18 square miles and costing in 1743 about £38,000. This estate included besides land and timber most of the houses and farms enclosed within this area in the villages of Egton and Egton bridge. In common with Darcy he was a substantial landowner with an estate up north. (see below*) 










               A view across the North Yorkshire moors.  This view is just a small panoramic snapshot of the land

              he owned . 

               It is as fine a territory for shooting today as it was 200 years ago.  Little has changed.

               Robert Cary Elwes's  youngest son Francis wrote and illustrated a superlative account of a season's 

              shooting 1862 - 63 part of which takes place on the Egton Estate.  This shooting diary has been

               transcribed with explanatory notes and can be found elsewhere on this website. 

               Go to the contents page Wisden's Secret part 1 and scroll down for Shooting Season 1862 - 1863 for

               the completely transcribed  account. 


              Below is  the idyllic entrance of one the routes  into Egton village                   







































* At the time of writing the above I had initially thought the estate was 6,000 acres in size. This figure was based upon the size it currently is according to its current owners. Since then I have discovered the auction sale catalogue of the Egton estate in 1869. This shows an estate of nearly 12,500 acres and included some valuable "Timber". The estate sold for £155,000 and the timber was sold separately for £25,000. This estate also included most of the property enclosed within. Exactly how big this estate was in 1795/6 I do not know but when it was bought in 1730 by Robert Elwes of Twickenham and costing £38,000 it cannot have been small. A very detailed catalogue of the sale by auction of the Egton Estate has survived and is held by Northampton Archives . 


      Fitzwilliam Darcy although a very rich landowner was not a nobleman, just a plain Mister. He shares this fictional quality with the actual reality of Robert Cary Elwes who was also a very rich landowner although not a nobleman, just a plain Mister. 

       Along with the estates he also owned the advowson at Great Amwell a mile south of Ware and a few miles further from Hertford. This had been the gift of his family for some 200 years and is relevant because Darcy also had the gift of a church living in his power. This living had been promised to Wickham the son of Darcy's land steward. Interestingly, the advowson of Great Amwell was given to Thomas Barnard in 1793. He was a member of the Barnard family that Elwes clearly must have known given that his sister was married to one of them and another was an executor of his father's will and tutor.   

      One of the Barnards  Charles Drake Barnard was a joint executor of the will of Robert Cary Elwes's father and may have been a land steward for some/all the estates held in Lincolnshire by him.  Robert Cary Elwes therefore certainly could have provided some of the details about Hertford/Ware. If Jane Austen met Robert Cary Elwes it would I think have been on very few occasions but he obviously must have had some knowledge about Hertford/Ware. 

             Another possibility for providing Jane Austen with her knowledge of Hertford/Ware was Robert Cary Elwes's sister Elizabeth who was married to the Reverend Robert Cary Barnard Rector of Withersfield. Robert Cary Barnard was from the same branch of the Barnard family. Robert Cary Elwes's sister's husband had relatives that Jane Austen's father must have known. He must have known them because in a professional sense they were next door neighbours. His parish was Steventon and it came within the diocese of Winchester. The relatives that Jane Austen's father must have known are the Reverend Robert Barnard Senior Prebendary at Winchester, Reverend John Gilbert Barnard also a senior Prebendary at Winchester died 1791.  Steventon, where Jane Austen's father was  Rector, being in the diocese of Winchester these two must surely have been known to Jane Austen's father George. Its surely not impossible that other members of the Austen family knew of the 2 Senior Prebendaries named Barnards.  Would the Austens or at least Jane Austen's father never have called in to see The Reverend Robert Barnard and his wife the Hon. Louisa Peyto daughter of John Peyto 6th Baron Willoughby de Broke (Is this where the character name John Willoughby of Sense and Sensibility came?). I think it a possibility. Whilst there, is there not a strong possibility that on occasions Elizabeth Barnard nee Elwes married to Reverend Robert Cary Barnard was there seeing his cousin the senior Prebendary.  Perhaps even, as the Barnard family were closely connected to the Elwes family, is it not also a possibility that Robert Cary Elwes was at some point also there.  And even if not present, conversation between people who know each other could easily have extended to enquiries about family members etc. 

     There must have been times when the Austens went to Winchester. 

      To begin, George Austen had an account at a local bookshop. Some contact with Winchester must have occurred because the Cathedral's assistant organist George Chard used to ride frequently to Steventon to give piano lessons. Jane Austen had friends apparently who used to live in Cathedral Close Winchester.  "Trade" gossip between Jane's father and George Chard re the Barnards could easily have brought Robert Cary Elwes and his youthful fortune to Jane Austen's attention. There is no proof apparently but she may well have danced in the Assembly rooms in Winchester. * (See the entry for Winchester Races at Worthy Down) 

      So I think it is worth looking again at the opening chapters and the introduction and imminent arrival of a young, rich and single young man and that there may well be some loose basis in reality that these chapters are based upon. 

With this in mind I think there must have been a strong possibility that Jane Austen not only knew of Elisabeth Barnard and or Robert Cary Elwes but may have met them on occasion. A visit to Elizabeth's husband Reverend Robert Cary Barnard's relatives perhaps and from there met Jane Austen, talked of Hertford or Ware towns both Robert and Elizabeth knew well and perhaps even about her brother Robert Cary Elwes  who the Austens may have known of from another source already. 

     In Pride and Prejudice Wickham's father had been a steward of Darcy's late father.  Given that the Barnards came from Bigby in Lincolnshire and given that Elwes senior owned a large estate in Bigby as well as nearby Roxby and that this land had been owned by an Elwes for a century and given that Elwes's father died when he was very young, is it possible that the man who  looked after  these estates  was a member of the Barnard family and that the figure of 10,000 a year was a figure based upon a real known amount.  Furthermore is the fact that  Charles Drake Barnard one of the executors of Cary Elwes's will must have   had a good idea, perhaps even exactly of just how rich Robert Cary Elwes was.  In the brief financial accounts of the executor considerable sums are paid to Charles Drake Barnard.* These sums cannot be for nothing and are not just tuition fees.  CDB also oversaw the  financial transactions.  


      Such stewardship between the families was to cross over into the 1860's when one of the Barnards was appointed along with R.J.C Elwes (brother of Francis) to administer the account at Goslings of Francis Emilius Cary Elwes the man who wrote the ms. that forms a large part of this website blog. A member of the Barnard family was an executor of Robert Cary Elwes's father, Cary Elwes’s will. The connections between the families are of long duration that cross generations and at the time at least were trusted and for all I know still are.   There can be no doubt that the Barnard family were obviously very well known to Robert Cary Elwes. 

    Jane Austen's knowledge of the military presence of the Derby Militia in Hertfordshire must have come from someone too. The Derby Militia were stationed close to the estate in Throcking owned by Robert Cary Elwes and either he or his sister Elizabeth surely have provided knowledge of a militia in Hertfordshire. Throcking is only a few miles away from Welwyn and the military presence there cannot have been unknown about by people living close by.   


    There is again no proof but it has been suggested that Jane Austen must have known about the military presence in Hertfordshire via her brother Henry who had served in the militia. Whilst he could have provided knowledge about life in the militia itself it does not therefore follow that he also knew about the militia in relation to Hertfordshire. (see Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Militia) 

     The other possible source for Jane Austen to have known about and heard about Robert Cary Elwes was via the Rector of Elkstone's family. The rectors son Tom Fowle ,who was Jane's sister Cassandra's prospective husband and a close family friend could quite easily known about Robert Cary Elwes. Gentleman and their wives and families for their social interaction look to other gentlemen and their wives and families and if one lives in a small village like Colesbourn that means sometimes looking in a different village not too far away. In the village of Elkstone only a few miles away lived the Fowle family. People like the Fowle family would have mixed socially, sooner or later with people like the new owners in 1789 of nearby Colesbourn Park. 

     It was bought by John Elwes son of the celebrated miser John Elwes supposedly the inspiration for perhaps Dickens's most famous character Scrooge and a relative also of Robert Cary Elwes. Its difficult to imagine that the new owner of Colesbourn Park and his doings were unknown to the Rector of Elkstone and his son Tom, and therefore I think it is quite possible that in conversation with the Fowle family, and in particular Tom, Cassandra's fiancee, the fact and knowledge about Robert Cary Elwes and his youthful fortune may well have come to the attention of Jane Austen. 

     * In early 2021 I was contacted  by a member of the Barnard family who suggested that I might find it fruitful to look at the university/s which members of Jane Austen's family may have attended.   2 of her brothers, Henry and James went to university and attended St. Johns Oxford  between the years 1775 and 1792.  They were  scholarship pupils there I presume for the education, in their case Divinity.  Whilst there they jointly produced a publication primarily for students  known as The Loiterer.


     Most members of the Barnard family attended Cambridge but there was one Charles Drake Barnard (mentioned earlier ) who attended Trinity College Oxford.  He came away with a B.A. and moved to Cambridge where he gained an M.A. in Divinity.  At the time of writing I have not ascertained whether the B.A. at Oxford was in Divinity or not but his subsequent life in the clergy makes it likely. 


     Could this Barnard who according to my source knew RCE very  very well have known either or both of the Austens. 

 St John's College is almost next door to Trinity College.  Close...

A building a short distance away from St. John's and Trinity  where  CDB could have met  one or both Austens and that all three may have visited was Divinity School and next door to that is the Bodlaien Library .    Closer.... 


    In producing The Loiterer primarily for students is it not possible that one or other of the Austens encountered Barnard .....

    So at a ball how does gossip spread within 5 minutes that a completely unknown man by the name of Mr.  Darcy is worth 10,000 a year.

My theory.

    In 1790 CDB leaves Oxford to go to Cambridge to study for an M.A. in divinity.  Before leaving he tells either one or both Austens that he is leaving and that whilst at Cambridge he will be paid for tutoring a fellow student he has known since childhood.  A man who has inherited land property etc and is worth 10,000 a year.    Fast forward a few years and a party consisting of Charles Drake Barnard, Robert Cary Elwes; his sister and her husband another member of the Barnard family come to Winchester to visit another close family member.  They come in summer for the races at Worthy Down and through connections attend the stewards ball afterwards.  At the ball are Jane Austen's family  who as I will point out later  knew the steward ( a man named Chute ) of the Worthy Down races (more later about Worthy Down races).  One of the Austen brothers recognises CDB from Oxford talks to him discovers that Elwes is the man worth 10,000 that he was tutoring and 5 minutes later the whole room knows.

Conjecture?  Of course.  But... *      




A note about Darcy: 

    Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec of the Jane Austen Society has proposed to me that Darcy, the name, has been chosen precisely because, although she (Jane Austen) knew many people (you have only to read her letters, she tells me) she DID NOT know anyone with the surname Darcy.  I cannot say that this is  not an argument.  But "I do not know anyone called Darcy so I will call the hero of my book Mr. Darcy." does seem an unlikely scenario. What a dull way to arrive at the name of the hero.  I simply cannot believe that an author with the inventiveness of Jane Austen as clever and smart witted as Jane Austen  chooses her hero's surname because she knew nobody with that surname.  An absurd idea. 

Added February 21st 2018 

      Whilst writing the March diary commentary for Wisden's Secret I came across the mention of someone the author Francis Emilius Cary Elwes knew, one Henry William Lindow.  I have just looked his name up and there may be a connection between this man's father and Pride and Prejudice.  I am not suggesting for one minute that he has provided any plot or character for Bingley as for Robert Cary Elwes, but he may with clever wordplay have provided the name Bingley and some of the"concrete " details about his life.  Nor can I say whether there is any chance that she could have heard of him from any source, but that is not to say she could not have if he in fact knew Elwes. 

      In real life he lived at Lower Slaughter House, Lower Slaughter Gloucestershire.  He would have been a little younger than Bingley (coincidence Bingley was also a little younger in reality than Darcy about 4 years in each case) but he does have things in common with Bingley. 

      He inherited at a young age, land and estates and presumably income and probably slaves. The land was in Lancaster, St Vincents and Grenada. He left Oxford at 17 and in July 1795 turned 18. The name Bingley can also be found by a word play. It is to be a fair a little tortuous. My daughter succinctly describes it as "a bit of a reach." Riddles often are though and riddles like anagrams are something else Jane Austen enjoyed. 

The word play 

A type of widow that rhymes with his name Bay to Bey 

The use of the letter 'g' for Grenada 

Mixing the first half of his name Lin 

Stir them all up and the name Bingley appears 

His name was Henry Lindow Lindow but he was born Henry Lindow Rawlinson and changed his name 

in order to inherit. 

As with Elwes I'm not aware of any other suggestions as to who or where or how the name Bingley could have evolved or been arrived at but this at least is something not conceived of to date. 

Added February 25th 2018 

      Each day a little more appears. I can connect Robert Cary Elwes with Henry Lindow Lindow back to at least 1817 when he married Charlotte Elizabeth Barnard, the daughter of reverend Robert Cary Barnard and his wife Elizabeth nee Elwes Barnard. Robert Cary Elwes's name appears on the marriage settlement between them and its reasonable I think to assume Elwes and Lindow knew each other for a time at least before this marriage in 1817; the question is for how long. Charlotte was Robert Cary Elwes's niece. 

     A further coincidence: Robert Cary Elwes's father's name was Cary Charles Elwes. Henry Lindow Lindow's father was brother-in-law to William Lindow and it was William Lindow's estates that Henry Lindow Lindow inherited. Can the use of names (Fitz)william Darcy and Charles Bingley be just a simple coincidence. Not sure about that one. 

    Just guesswork of course but there are mysteries to be solved.

Added March 8th 2018 

     How much were Robert Cary Elwes and Mr. Darcy worth in today's money. This is supposedly quite difficult to work out. The Telegraph helps out in an article entitled "could Mr. Darcy afford a stately home today" In the article they produce a table based upon values in 1810 close to the time when Jane Austen produced her novels in which they suggest that £10,000 a year has a real value today of £619,100 numerically approx. 60 -70 times as much but has a prestige value of £8,877,000 numerically 800-900 times as much. 

     For a couple of reasons I'm not sure about the credibility of the first figure of 60-70 times today’s value. In 1861, 70 years later Robert Cary Elwes's Elwes's son purchased Number 39 Queens Gate Terrace Kensington a five storey mansion for somewhere between £6 and £8,000. This house if unconverted would now sell for well in excess of (let's not exaggerate) £6 million; a figure closer to 1,000 times the original cost. 100 years or so after Jane Austen was writing her novels mainly in the early 19th century, Robert Tressell wrote "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists"  A fictional tale of working class life as a painter and decorator by a painter and decorator and therefore much of it surely factually based. 

Wages for a skilled man such as the main character Owen were 6 pence an hour or 7 pence for special work of the sort that Owen was capable of producing.  A pound a week give or take a few shillings.  Labourers earned substantially less. At the "real value" above a painter and decorators wage would be £60 -70 a week which is clearly rubbish in today's world 2018  in the U.K.  You cant get a days labour out of a skilled man for £70 a day never mind a week.  The "prestige value "at 8-900 times the values in 1810 gives a much better comparison with reality and is much nearer to what a skilled painter and decorator currently expects to earn today ie. £8-900 a week. 

     Either way though Robert Cary Elwes was without doubt, a very wealthy young man.  Some of his banking records survive.  They date from 1799.  There must have been others prior to 1799 and there may well have been other bank accounts in 1799 that have not survived.  According to the only account of his that I have found in 1799 he held a sum in cash close to £35,000.  Add to this four estates, not just the land but all the property too and the likelihood of wealth elsewhere... 

     The Lincolnshire Archives Committee Archivists Report 20 gives quite some detail about the Elwes holdings in Lincolnshire in Roxby and Bigby. Not as large as Egton but not that small and built up over many years. I do not know the exact figure of either estate nor if they also included property but I would be surprised if they did not include property holdings also. 

      As a "real value" today according to the Telegraph figures then in cash he would be worth perhaps £2 million plus the four estates etc.  In terms of "prestige value" perhaps a sum held in cash in excess of £25 million plus 4 estates etc. 

     At todays valuations of his land and property holdings his wealth would far exceed that.  Land in Yorkshire today retails at a minimum  5000 pounds plus per acre and  Robert Cary Elwes owned 12500 acres and in addition  most of the property in the 2 nearby villages.  Do the maths. 



      With such extensive land and property holdings and by the time income from his estates is included he surely could have been close to being the single young man in possession of  £10, 000 a year, and therefore in need of a wife. 

Added March 8th 2018 

*A Process of Elimination. 

     I have included this section because someone pointed out to me that there must have been many people in 1795 who had the necessary attributes and income to be Mr. Darcy.  But is that so.  I think by a process of elimination one could come close to identifying him.  Mr Darcy belonged to the landed gentry class, a group of people who comprised perhaps one and a half per cent of the population in 1795.  The 1801 census indicates that the population of England was about 5 million people . 

Some fag packet calculations: 

      So Landed gentry equals one and a half percent of five million which is about 75,000 people; so to keep the sums easy call it 100,000. Minus 5o% because they are women = 50,000 left.  Minus 90% of the remaining males because they are 

a) too young 

b) too old 

c) they are already married/betrothed = 5,000 left 

Minus 80% of those who unlike Darcy are not clever = 1000 left 

Minus another say 60% of  those who were not only sons as Darcy was = 400 left 

Minus those who were plain Mr. rather than Lord Duke etc say another 50% = 200 left 

Minus those who whilst wealthy did not possess a sizeable estate say another 75 % = 50 left 

Minus those who did not have it in their power to bestow a church living say another 20 % = 40 left 

Minus those who only had one other sibling a sister worth 30,000 pounds  

Minus those who did not have anywhere near £10,000 a year 

Minus those who cannot be shown to have one degree or closer connections to Jane Austen 

Minus those whose names have no obvious relationship to the name Darcy = A number close to one. 

One possible candidate for the identity of Mr. Darcy.  Can anyone name better?  Perhaps there are other young men whom in 1795 the above could also be applied to but there cannot possibly be many. 

     More could have been added. Knowledge  about Chatsworth and the Cavendish family, (see below ) Hertford and or Ware 

Mr. Darcy has characteristics that fit the above process. So does Robert Cary Elwes. But who else does? 

Added 10  March  2018

* *  In  late February / early March 2021 and following contact with a member of the family I thought a little more as to whether there were others ways in which the possibility of connection between Darcy and Elwes could have been established.  The initial criteria I have employed  to establish a connection is to assume that when Jane Austen gives detail about Darcy the man she is speaking about is a real life individual.  


    On that basis there are at least 2 further ways which when combined with the above pin down Robert Cary Elwes as the man.


Firstly:   We learn that Darcy has a substantial estate (Pemberley)  somewhere up north. Drawing a horizontal line above say  South Birmingham if the owner of every substantial 18th century landed estate was examined we would find very few candidates who could fit  the bill.  How many of these substantial landowners are a) the right age 20 - 30, b)  plain Misters,  c)  have only a single  sister, no brother and that  worth 30,ooo pounds.  Not very many I beg to suggest  but one who does is Robert Cary Elwes.

*Qualities shared by both Darcy and Elwes are found later.


Secondly:   We learn from Wickham that Darcy is intelligent.  Where do intelligent sons of the wealthy receive their education?  Eton Harrow privately and the university along with many sons of the wealthy who were not intelligent they receive their education in their late teens and early twenties at university.  If there were a real life individual based upon Darcy would he be any different.  Highly unlikely  I think.  In which case which university would he have attended 

Before the beginning of the 19th century there were only 2 universities that he could have attended Oxford and Cambridge.  Both these universities have full records of their former alumni.  Late 18th century university numbers are far below today's numbers but of course there is still a lot of names to look;  certainly a few thousand.  a search for a needle in a haystack?  Perhaps But if you do not search the haystack you cannot find the needle.  So given that Jane Austen began writing P and P in 1795 Darcy one reasonably and realistically  would think could not be older than 30 nor younger than 20.  A systematic search could reject many  because they were not wealthy enough, they already had a title by 1795, they were not the owner of a substantial estate/s, they had many other siblings not just one sister.  As one systematically runs through the list of alumni one comes to the name Robert Cary Elwes  and his entry  in the Cambridge Alumni   demands an immediate and  closer look.  I hope to be able to show a screenshot of his entry in this database which can be found by googling "database Cambridge Alumni"  and searching for his entry.  Pre- internet days of course this entry would have taken some effort to find whereas today a quick search using google and then  a search of the database and a few minutes later up comes all the information.

But until such time as I  can show the screenshot below are some details which the well informed student of Jane Austen, her works, life and times and who thinks there may indeed have been a real man who provided the inspiration at least and quite probably the actuality for Mr. Darcy would  surely have seized upon as information that demanded thorough checking!   How could you not?  Hindsight is such a wonderful thing.

Added 7 March  2021

Pemberley / Chatsworth 

     It is thought by many that Pemberley House in Pride and Prejudice is based upon Chatsworth House and that Jane Austen's description of this place must have come from a visit to Bakewell made in 1811, although there is no evidence that she went to Chatsworth. It has also been suggested to me that she knew about Chatsworth through either books or publications (plural) of the period.  The, let’s call her an authoritative individual, who informed me of this offered no evidence of whatsoever  these books or publications (plural or singular ) may have been.  For the record lets just say that there are very very few that could have been consulted.  This is another example of conjecture unquestioned for so long that it is now related as truth or certainly related to me as truth that needs to be reviewed. 

      Might there be another way that she knew of Chatsworth House in the way for example that she appears to know a great deal about Hertfordshire despite never having been there. I have recently read the description of Elizabeth's tour around Pemberley.  It certainly reads like a real description from life.  How was she able to do this? 

      I think there is a way and it comes courtesy of Robert Cary Elwes if she met him.  The Elwes family (Robert Cary Elwes) seem to have been associated with Billing Hall from sometime in 1795 renting before purchasing it in 1799.  It had formerly been the property of Lord John Cavendish who died in 1796.  Lord John Cavendish was the youngest son of the 4th Duke of Devonshire and brother of the 5th.  Negotiations for the sale and purchase of Billing Hall one would imagine took place over a reasonable period of time.  Before paying for somewhere like Billing Hall some sort of inventory must have taken place and a price arrived at and agreed upon.  Although not owning the hall until 1799 these associations between Elwes and the Cavendish family would appear to have commenced as early if not earlier for other reasons by the renting of Great Billing Hall at sometime in 1795. 

      In that period of time before being bought by Elwes is it not possible that Elwes may have visited perhaps even known well the owner of Chatsworth House, given that Lord John Cavendish the previous owner of Billing Hall was the youngest son of the fourth Duke of Devonshire a former owner of Chatsworth House and younger brother of the fifth Duke of Devonshire the current owner in 1795. 

     The Great Billing Hall estate was bought by Elwes in 1799 for about £40,000. I have no problem with the possibility of Rober Cary Elwes knowing about Chatsworth and being given a guided tour and therefore being able to talk about Chatsworth knowledgeably. 

Added April 17th 2018 

       Could Throcking be the Original siting of Longbourn. Was there a real Oakham Mount and did this place provide the inspirational source for the naming of Netherfield Park? 

      There is one major argument for saying that Throcking is not the original location for "Longbourn" and that is its distance from Hertford (Meryton) Throcking is 12 miles away from Hertford, whereas Longbourn is only a mile away from Meryton. However just as Jane Austen disguised place names might she not also have disguised location. Its worth noting that despite Jane Austen's precision location of one mile from Meryton nobody has found or been able to name it for certain. 

      Aside from the fact that Robert Cary Elwes grew up and lived in Throcking there at least 2 good arguments for suggesting that Throcking maybe the original Longbourn. 

      The first argument is that Throcking is 7/8 miles away from Baldock. Baldock was a small town that was an important staging post along the Great North Road in the late 18th century. This is an important point because on hearing of Lydia and Wickham's elopement, ostensibly to Scotland, via London, they would have travelled along the Great North Road. A character, based in Longbourn laments that "they must have passed within 10 miles of us" 

         The second argument is in relation to Oakham Mount. Mrs. Bennet advises Mr. Darcy, Lizzy and Kitty "to walk to Oakham Mount this morning. It’s a nice long walk and Mr. Darcy has never seen the view" 

     There is a small village close to Throcking with superb views, apparently all the way to Ely on a clear day,a distance of about 20 miles.  Clicking google images brings some of these views these up.  In 1936 it provided a trig. point for the ordnance Survey.  To reach this point from Throcking would have been a good long walk.  The distance there and back is about 14 miles.  Besides being a possible location for Oakham Mount it may also have provided the inspirational source for the name Netherfield Park.  According to a Cary map of 1787 it appears to be slightly North East of Throcking. Therfield is the name of this place and if one adds NE the abbreviation for North East to Therfield the name Netherfield results. 

Added April 27th 2018 

     There are however 2 further possibilities that could be "Longbourn."  Both can be connected to Elwes. The first is the village of Great Amwell.  It is a small village about a mile outside Ware just as Longbourn is a small village about a mile from Meryton.  It is in respect of the church at Great Amwell that Elwes held the church living.  This church living that was gifted to Thomas Barnard a brother of the "Winchester Cathedral" Barnard brothers. Aside from this there is at least one further interesting connection to Amwell and Longbourn. 

      This can be found if one dissects the name Longbourn. Long obviously meaning long and bourn. The word bourn means a small stream. Could Longbourn mean A Long small stream.  Possibly if one is referring to Great Amwell.  For Great Amwell has one major claim to fame.  It is the source of what is now known as the New River. This is an artificial waterway created in the 17th century by Sir Hugh Muddleton.  Its purpose was to take fresh water from the River Lea and Chadwell and Amwell Springs.  This is a distance of 28 miles.  Quite a distance for a small "stream" 

       The second further possibility is that Longbourn is simply a composite of Amwell and Throcking to create a third place albeit of course a non existent place .

The Origin of the Name and Location of the Town of Meryton 

       Where is the town of Meryton.  Ware is certainly a possibility.  Which is interesting because it is possible I think to arrive at Meryton from Ware.  Here's how:  There are numerous place names in England that end with the suffix ton.  It means settlement/farmstead and goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.  Ware, the town itself, as a settlement goes back to Pre-Roman times.  Begin with the suffix ton from Meryton.  In order to disguise Ware first add the suffix ton to Ware which gives Wareton. 

Imagine these letters for example on a scrabble board or laid out using ivory letters from Jane Austen's box of ivory letters in that exact order with one exception, that being the letter W which is placed upside down. This at first glance gives the appearance of Mareton; say Mareton quickly and there is the sound of the place Meryton, change the A for an E, and then the  E for a Y and there is Meryton. Plausible ? The name Meryton is an imaginary name that must have been created somehow. Jane Austen liked word games; witness the set of ivory letters held by the British Library that belonged to her. 

      The world of Jane Austen is hardly overflowing with ideas that hang together as to how the name of Meryton evolved. The fictional name of Meryton evolved into existence somehow.  So why not?  I think its possible.  Jane Austen is well known to have enjoyed puzzles riddles etc.  Is this another Easter Egg? 

Added April 24th 2018 

The Name Wickham 

      Is this a choice of name simply pulled from the hat with careless abandon or is there a deeper underlying reason for choosing this name.  Can its creative roots be found elsewhere.  I believe that this name can also be related to Robert Cary Elwes through his relatives within the Barnard family.  It’s very simple.  Robert Cary Elwes had relatives with the surname Barnard.  The Barnards seem to have been quite numerous and many were members of the clergy.  The Cary Elwes/ Barnard family tree that can be easily accessed via google shows that in the 1790's 2 members of the Barnard family were Senior Prebendaries at Winchester Cathedral and one who had been given the living at Great Amwell near Ware.  (This was the living that was in the power of Robert Cary Elwes to gift and before him his father.  This could be the basis for the living referred to as being promised by Darcy's father. 

     Is it possible that the Prebendaries were known as Wykehamists after the founder of Winchester College, William Wykeham Bishop of Winchester.  Or was Wickham perhaps an irreverent generic name understood by those close to Jane Austen and used by her as a name when referring to clergy as well as being used as a surname for the character Wickham. 

     The clergy frequently play parts within Jane Austen's novels could she be making a point about the ethics and morality of some of the clergy with her use of the name Wickham and the badness of character of Wickham in the book. 

Added April 30th 2018


       It has been suggested by Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec. of the Jane Austen Society to me that the occasions when Jane Austen traveled to Winchester were few and far between and by inference meetings may have been unlikely. I have to say that I was a little bothered as to how often they may have met etc.  She informed me that Jane Austen's brother Edward had inherited large estates.  Among these estates was Steventon Manor.  They were owned by Thomas Knight who died in 1794.  These estates by the terms of the will were to come to Edward Austen once Thomas Knight's wife died but by agreement were passed to him in 1798 under a very beneficial agreement to Catherine Knight.  But between 1794 when Thomas Knight died and 1798 when Edward took over the running of these estates what happened.  Could there have been attempts made to sell or rent them. 

       In 1795 it would seem that Robert Cary Elwes began renting the estate of Great Billing from Lord John Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire's brother and which he  eventually  purchased  in 1799.  Clearly Elwes was in the market for an estate.  He undoubtedly had access at least to the cash.  But he was not, I think in the market for just any estate.  It had to fulfill certain requirements and needs that Elwes's main hobby for the rest of his life demanded.  It also in all probability had to meet with Elwes's self image and perceived status as a rich landed aristocrat also demanded.  Lord John Cavendish, the owner ofthe Great billing  estate may have been happy renting but did not wish to sell.  Further impediments to Elwes buying this estate developed when the good Lord died in 1796 and there was an obvious delay in time for this estate to pass from one owner to the next and then to Elwes.  Great Billing in 1799 became his primary residence and was where he pursued his main interest in life. The breeding of racehorses.  For which not just any estate will do. 

      The estate at Great Billing is beside the River Nene on what may have been a flood plain and thus would have provided good pasture.  It was very close to Northampton racecourse and not to far away from the racecourses of Newmarket and Warwick.  In fact Lord John Cavendish actually had his own private race course .

       Although he did not buy Great Billing Hall until 1799 Elwes would appear to have been in the market for an estate.  Could Elwes have been a prospective purchaser or tenant of Steventon Manor for example and thus appeared almost at her door.  At the time of writing this is just a theory but ... Steventon Manor appears from the pictures a very grand place dating back to Elizabethan times The Digweeds who were long term tenants were paying 600 plus pounds per year for 900 acres.  Surely, sufficient land for Elwes's needs. The land around Steventon appears to have been very suitable for pasture and there are racecourses within range of Steventon. 

No Joy with this theory 

Or maybe there was another similar estate close by that could have been for sale or rent. 

Bingley discovered Netherfield via an accidental recommendation 

More about this maybe. 

      In an estate agents blurb for the residence Ashe Park I came across the rumour that Jane Austen had written part of Pride and Prejudice in this house. A house with a tenant Jane Austen knew. I had hoped to find more but so far a blank. 

Added May 6th 2018 

More about names 

     Over the last few days I have reread Pride and Prejudice shortly after writing about the places Meryton and Longbourn. Whilst rereading P and P I came to the introduction of the character Mister Denny.  That's interesting I thought; take away an N and that would leave the word Deny.  My bet I thought to myself is that Mister Denny sooner or later is associated with denial in some form or other.  It was a good wait for what I was looking for but it in due course it arrived.  Chapter 47 the paragraph that begins 

      "Yes, but, when questioned by him (Colonel Forster) Denny DENIED knowing"  BINGO Another Easter Egg 

       Along with disguising the town of Ware and the village Longbourn there is also as I have proposed earlier disguises for the original names Darcy and Bingley. Leaving Darcy and Bingley aside for the moment might there be more names within P and P that are more than just randomly selected and chosen names. 


      I think some of the following may also be Easter Eggs, so in no special order of preference.  Some I like better or think more likely than others.  Some on later reading are rather less likely, fanciful even.  My method was to put the name into Scrabble Word Finder add a question mark and see what words appeared and whether any word absolutely stood out.


1a) The name Nicholls.  As in " as soon as Nicholls has made white soup."  Nicholls is hardly a character. Says nothing.  Does nothing.  An irrelevant pointless edition.  Easily edited out of the text.  Unless there is a deeper hidden reason for this individuals appearance.  I think there is another reason.  Take the letter H from the name Nicholls and the letters can be reformed to spell the name of Collins.  Mr. Collins the clergyman at Hunsford. 

1b) The name Nicholls again.  The H can also be exchanged for a U and the word scullion can be made.  The Collins dictionary definition of a scullion is " a kitchen worker employed to do menial tasks"  Pure coincidence or intelligence at work?  For me this is another Easter Egg and means the inclusion of a character with the name Nicholls as a kitchen worker and nothing else becomes essential.  Later I found many occasions when a letter could be exchanged for another and a meaningful result found  including Elwes  (Twice). 

2) The name Gardiner. Scrabble players will see that selection of letters as being very promising whether adding or taking away a letter. There are quite a few possibilities for making an anagram some of which could perhaps be used in connection with Gardiner for example add a W rewarding. But a lot of words come with this grouping.  I'm not keen. 

3) The name Bourgh. Swap the R for a T and bought can be made, but although that word is easily made there is no relationship to the text.  *(Later as I will explain  I was to realise that there is a relationship  to be found)

But much better because of its punning quality it is better to take away the R which leaves the word Bough pronounced BOW!   There is a lot of bowing when Lady Catherine de Bourgh is around.   In the Jane Austen Thesaurus the verb bow, the noun/adjective bowing and the adjective bowed are used between them 65 times, and primarily in Pride and Prejudice.  Another Easter Egg.  How easy was it to make that connection for her listening audience of close family members.  Arguably quite difficult judging by the use of the clue word bow so many times. 

*(At the time I did not realise that there was only 1 pun in JA's work  or that this would be the first of several more puns similarly constructed and  every bit as clever as BOURGH  to BOW   to be found. ) 

4) The name Lucas. Add an a, search for an anagram and there is casual. And you could certainly describe Charlotte Lucas's acceptance of Collins's hand in marriage as casual.   Unconvincing as are the next 2 

5) The name Hill ditto above as far as character goes but as far as deeper hidden meaning. Add C to Hill and there is the word chill. Jane, if you remember caught a " chill " 

6) The name Carter. Add an O and the word creator can be formed 

7) The name Mary.  Add an R to Mary and Marry is created. Marriage, a central theme of this book; is this really just a coincidence. But what about Mary King exchange the K for an R and the word marrying can be made.  Much later I will realise that I have cause to look more carefully at Mary King. 

8) The name Kitty. Swap the K of Kitty for a W and there is the word witty. Wit an essential component. 

The name Lydia. Take away the I and the word lady can be made.  Again unconvincing.


I am at a complete loss though with Pemberley. 

Are there more? 

         Is there a deeper message or point waiting to be fully unearthed. Or a game for her listeners (family) to her reading aloud were challenged to spot. Whatever, are the names that Jane Austen uses picked from the bag of random choice.? I do not believe it. 

Is there more to be found in P and P and does Jane Austen do this in other novels? 

     I would be more surprised (absolutely astounded in fact )if there were  not more to be found somewhere within Jane Austen's work than if there were more to be found. 

Added May 11th 2018 

Other Meaningful Names and Mansfield Park 

      I was not planning to look for other names with meaningful anagrams easily made but having proposed a theory I thought perhaps I ought to check whether there were any.  I felt sure there would be but! are there any ? 

       So starting with Emma and not trying to hard.  The name Jane Fairfax.  The letter X seems the obvious letter to try removing first.  The word affair leaps out.  So I looked at a scrabble word finder.  Type in Fairfax and it lists all the anagrams.  For Fairfax itself there are no 7 letter anagrams and only 2 6 letter words Raffia being the other. If however one adds a question mark to represent a blank then 3 results are returned Affaire Raffias and Affairs.  If there is one theme that all Jane Austen's books could be said to have had it is surely an affair principally of the heart.  But with Jane Fairfax in particular it is especially noteworthy.  There is her secret affair with Frank Churchill and there is her suspected (by Emma) affair with Dixon.  AFFAIR and AFFAIRS.  Easter Eggs created in both ways.  By the exchanging of one letter for another or by removing one letter 2 anagrams that relate so well to the text and in particular to Jane Fairfax can be found. 

        Next up was Mansfield Park. The name Bertram. Remove the letter M and barter is easily found . Check the scrabble word finder and it appears that there is no 7 letter word can be made from Bertram and only one other 6 letter word. I have not read every Jane Austen novel but wealthy men of trade do appear and men of trade are a recurring topic. Not so good though. In fact not good enough at all. 

  In isolation each name can of course be written off as a curiosity of language; together they can be considered as perhaps a coincidence although I would suggest a rather striking coincidence. But, when you add these 2 examples of word game play too what has been pointed out above (Nicholls, Denny, Bourgh, Meryton,etc) and the easy simplicity with which the name Darcy could have been derived from Robert Cary Elwes and more as I will explain to come; is coincidence really the right word. Then factor in the evidence that demonstrates beyond doubt that Jane Austen undeniably knew and enjoyed word games and even employs them in her writing (see Blunders/ Dixon Emma). 

Coincidence? I don't believe it.  Proof however is a long way off.

Sans peur et sans reproche 

       While reading a brief synopsis about Mansfield Park I have just observed again that Mansfield Park is set in the county of Norththampton.  According to one of Jane Austen's letters she writes to her sister asking her to find out if Northampton is a county of hedgerows.  She goes on to say that she can get what she wants from her brother Henry and then she uses the phrase "Sans peur et sans reproche".  What one might ask has Jane Austen to fear and why should there be a possibility of reproach.  It cannot have been written for nothing.  Her sister Cassandra, who she was writing to presumably understood exactly what was meant by "sans peur et sans reproche" and unlike the rest of the world didn't need it to be explained. 

      There appear to be few if any really satisfactory explanations as to why Jane Austen wrote this.  What possible cause could she have had for experiencing any anxiety? 


      Below is a possible explanation that explains why Jane Austen may have experienced a little "peur et reproche" regarding her enquiries into Northamptonshire. 

       If I am right to some extent about Robert Cary Elwes being the original Mr. Darcy then this would provide a possible cause for a little "peur et reproche " for making any enquiries into the county of Northamptonshire on the part of Jane Austen.  The answer lies with Robert Cary Elwes the man I think may have been the original Mr Darcy.  He bought Billing Hall an estate in Great Billing a small village close to the town of Northampton in 1799 although his associations with the place appear to go back to 1795 when he may have rented it. 

        Mansfield Park was supposedly a newly built house Jane Austen tells us.  Billing Hall was previously owned by Lord John Cavendish who had the place rebuilt in the Palladian style in 1776.  The house sadly no longer exists today but images of what it looked like can be found by googling Billing Hall and clicking images.  Although not completely new it was a building definitely of recent vintage when Jane Austen began writing Mansfield Park. 

       Elwes spent much of his life breeding race horses in which he had some success breeding 2 Derby winners, although when he began breeding race horses I do not as yet know, but he would have been able to exercise his horses on the private race course built by Lord John Cavendish, and so it’s likely that he was breeding race horses from very early in the 19th century. 

The idea therefore of the possibility of being discovered by Elwes, hunting for information about Northampton and anywhere in close proximity to the village of Great Billing  may well have caused Jane Austen a little cause for concern. Might it not. 

* See description for the village of Great Billing and the explanation as to why this was the village of Thornton Lacey 

Added May 17th 2018 

Colonel Fitzwilliam and the _____ Militia 

      The ____ Militia who were posted to Hertfordshire in Pride and Prejudice are thought to be the Derbyshire Militia. I thought it worth a look to see if Colonel Fitzwilliam the man in charge of the _____ Militia in Pride and Prejudice could be identified with a real man and if that man might have links with Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. 

In Pride and Prejudice in brief we learn that Colonel Fitzwilliam was a Colonel the youngest son of an earl, and of good family. 

In 1795 In charge of one regiment of the Derbyshire Miltia was Colonel George Augustus Henry Cavendish and he was born in 1754. He was a Colonel from 1783 until 1811. The name Cavendish is of immediate interest because as already explained Robert Cary Elwes bought Billing Hall and rented initially from the Cavendish family of whom the Duke of Devonshire and owner of Chatsworth House was the best known. George Augustus Henry Cavendish was a younger son ( Colonel Fitzwilliam was the youngest son ) His father's name was William Cavendish the 4th Duke of Devonshire and owner of Chatsworth House. 

Interestingly enough the prefix for the name Fitzwilliam Fitz means son of hence in this case, son of William. Coincidence? Although George Cavendish was not the son of an earl as Fitzwilliam was, he was the son of a duke and being the son of a duke is pretty similar in social standing but for those interested in such nuances it is of higher rank. No matter what, as a man he would have been considered as being from a good family. 

      A point to consider: The Derbyshire Militia were based for a while in Hertfordshire.  Elwes's estate seems to have been right in the middle or very close to where the Derbyshire Militia were camped.   Where would Colonel Geoge Henry Augustus Cavendish have slept at night. In a tent? I am sure Robert Cary Elwes must have been aware of the nearby presence of the Derby Militia. If George Augustus Henry Cavendish spent time a few short miles away at Throcking home of Robert Cary Elwes it would be no surprise to me and via Robert Cary Elwes provides a way in which Jane Austen may have learnt not only about Hertfordshire, the Derbyshire Militia, and Chatsworth but also about the real life Colonel Fitzwilliam!!! 

Added May 23rd 2018  

Mrs. Reynolds the housekeeper at Pemberley. 

      Is there I wondered an Easter Egg that can be linked to Reynolds the housekeeper at Pemberley.  Reynolds in brief it will be remembered was the lady who showed Elizabeth and the Gardiners around the magnificent property of Pemberley and gave a glowing recommendation of its owner Mr. Darcy. 

     It took a short while to work it out but yes there is indeed an Easter Egg to be found via the name of Reynolds.  I needed help from the internet to figure it out.  Firstly I went to Scrabble Word Finder.  I typed in the name Reynolds to see if there were any 8 letter anagrams.  There are not.  There are a few 7 letter word anagrams but nothing of heart stopping interest.  Suppose I thought again, one added a letter would there be a 9 letter anagram. There are no 9 letter anagrams.  But there are a few 8 letter anagrams.  One of them surely cannot be coincidence. The most striking return is made by exchanging the Y in Reynolds for a P and the word Splendor can made.  That fits rather well with the description of Pemberley.  But it gets better.  Volume 3 Chapter 1  Paragraphs 5 to 7.   The housekeeper who we are later told is a Mrs. Reynolds is showing Elizabeth around Pemberley.  I will quote the whole of the relevant sentence. 

        "The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor, but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy or uselessly fine; with less of SPLENDOR, and more real elegance than Rosings" 

Just how clever is that!!! Reynolds - exchange the Y for a P and create another Easter Egg SPLENDOR. 

      A note about the spelling of SPLENDOR.  This no accident.  Jane Austen was well aware of the different spellings for splendor.   According to the Jane Austen Thesaurus Jane Austen uses the word Splendor spelt with the OR ending just once and Splendour with the OUR ending seven times.  The words splendor and splendour have the same meaning.  Why else would Jane Austen use the OR ending for Spendor on just the one occasion for the same word.  One utterly essential reason for using the OR ending for Splendor is because that is the only way that the Easter Egg that exchanges the letter P in Splendor for a Y and thereby creates the name Reynolds can be made. 

Jane Austen is well known to have liked riddles, conundrums, word play anagrams etc. She shows this in her novel Emma in making the word Dixon. She says as much in a letter to Cassandra when describing the amusements that keeps them occupied "riddles and conundrums". So when names such as Denny, Nicholls, Bourgh, Meryton, as for example described earlier, not to mention others not listed and still more predicted to be found (I know there are more I just have not found them yet) and Reynolds (see above) appear to be more than just the name of a character but part of an ingenious yet simple underlying word puzzle.  Can it really be speculation to say that they are there by anything else other than the deliberate design and skill of Jane Austen to create "Easter Eggs" as against a number of accidental, collectively fortuitous turns of phrase. 

      Please remember that this discovery of hidden underlying meanings or "Easter Eggs" that I think I have found has been brought to light initially by the proposal that I made for the simple but effective concealment of the identity of Robert Cary Elwes. Namely add a D to the name Cary and the anagram name that results is Darcy or vice versa by removing the D from Darcy the name Cary can be made.

Added November 19th 2018 

       I have just realised another, I think important subtlety about the word Splendor. 

It should also be bourn in mind  that Jane Austen initially is writing her stories to be read by her to a small number of people family and friends to listen to. So when she writes "with less of Splendor" is she not giving her listeners an extra audio cryptic crossword style clue, who upon hearing the word Splendor would be thinking of this word with the OUR ending. Less of Splendour; remove the U giving "less of Splendor " then find the anagram by the proscribed method . 

Added May 29th 2018 

Yet more meaningful names and Mansfield Park 

      I had not expected to write much more on the subject of meaningful names but six more names I feel are deserving of mention. The names that strike me as worth a second look and that might produce a meaningful angram are usually characters with none or little dialogue and who appear fleetingly. With these characters one can easily question the point of their existence. They appear to serve no real purpose. But if Jane Austen is incorporating word play in her novels as I think she is then of course they are indispensable from that viewpoint. 

      I have found two more from Pride and Prejudice and four more from Mansfield Park. Nor had I  expected to read Mansfield Park again but on discovering that Jane Austen had written in a letter "sans Peur et sans Reproche" in relation to asking questions about Northamptonshire and that Robert Cary Elwes lived close to Northampton I thought I would see if there was anything else that could possibly connect Robert Cary Elwes to Jane Austen.  The two from P and P have come by further playing around with the Scrabble Word Finder whilst three from Mansfield I have found for myself but the other has been found with the help of Scrabble Word Finder. From Pride and Prejudice come Miss Grantley and Dawson and from Mansfield Park come Baddeley, Sewell, Rebecca and Maddison. They are all created in one of the ways described before ie. add a letter, take away a letter or change a letter and then make an anagram plus there is one straightforward anagram. 

      Grantley. There are no eight-letter anagrams to be made from the name Grantley. The text in P and P reads "I think it infinitely superior than Miss Grantley's ." There was no real need to use an apostrophe s. Jane Austen could have written "any by Miss Grantley" for example. Although the 's is essential if I am correct in saying that an anagram word play is going on for Grantleys can be arranged to make Strangely. However whilst the word strangely can be made I'm not sure how it could relate to the text in any way.   So, maybe not  


    The text to note here is "as long as Dawson does not object to the Barouche box." There are no six-letter words to be made from the name Dawson, however if one swaps the D for a G the Easter Egg that can be made related to a Barouche box is the word wagons. A barouche box being a type of wheeled carriage and therefore a type of wagon.



       If the B is removed then the easily Easter Egg DELAYED can be made. The text containing Baddeley to note here is "suppose you hurry Baddeley a little tonight, he seems behind hand  tonight." Given the context in this instance in which the name Baddeley appears, is delay, could this not be deliberate. 

Sewell's as in Sewell's Farm.

       This is the passage where Henry Crawford is giving his account of coming upon the village of Thornton Lacey. The text reads "but which way did you turn after passing Sewell's Farm" Remove one of the l's from the name Sewell's Farm and it could become Elwes's farm. 


       The name Sewell is highly significant because Robert Cary Elwes lived in a place near Northampton called Great Billing Hall, Great Billing. Could "Sewell's Farm" be Great Billing Hall. Could Great Billing in the very loosest of senses be Thornton Lacey.  Is this why Jane Austen in her letter wrote "sans peur et sans Reproche". Concern about the possibility of encountering Robert Cary Elwes.  This would provide a plausible explanation for Jane Austen to write "sans peur et sans reproche".  A plausible explanation that nobody else, so far has managed.

 Baddeley, Dawson, and Sewell. Each with nothing to say or do. None with any influence on the plot. Why are they there. As an Easter Eggs there is a point. 

Are the 3 names above another small clutch of "Easter Eggs"  


Above and below are pictures of Great Billing church the area around Great  Billing church and the parsonage . For a small village as Great Billing was 200 years ago it is  in common with  Thornton Lacey a good sized church for such a small place. As one can see the rooftops of the nearby houses are considerably lower than the church which stands at the top of a hill. Somewhere behind the church is where Great Billing Hall (Sewell's Farm?) once stood.  Most if not all the buildings behind the church in this view are of recent construction as is much of the nearby surrounding area although 200 years ago it was countryside farmland and part of Elwes's estate. Too the right of the church beyond the churchyard and lower down the hill in a street called Church Walk is  "the Old Vicarage " which dates back to the mid to late 17th century and is perhaps 150 - 200 yards from the church as the crow flies. This building is as is the one described in Thornton lacey a fine old stone  building. Crawford describes the church in Thornton Lacey as "within a stone's throw of the said knoll and church"   (see roadside photograph below) Close to the Old Vicarage and around the corner also in Church Walk is the  Chantry and  Priors Piece and on the opposite side are workers cottages which date from many years earlier  No "gentleman's house is to be seen."  There was always 200 years ago in every small village at least 1 other gentleman's house to be seen beside a parsonage.   So is Jane Austen really saying that there is no gentleman's house to be seen or is she insinuating that a house that does not belong to a gentleman is to be seen.  And Sewell's Farm.  Might that not be part of a double insult to Robert Cary Elwes by referring to his estate as a farm.    At the bottom of the hill is Ecton Brook which could be, as Crawford recounts, the  " small stream to be forded"  






Taken from a village notice board is a  photograph with a brief descriptive text of Great Billing Hall as it once was but is no more.  It was demolished in the 1950's 



Rebecca is a little unusual for a servant in that she is referred to by her Christian name.  Rebecca is a relatively uncommon name also.  All the other servants that I have come across so far have been referred to by their surnames.  It maybe that in other Jane Austen novels other servants are also referred to by their Christian names, but at the moment I am not aware of that.  I would imagine that calling servants by their Christian names was highly unusual and for Jane Austen to do so is an indication that there maybe more to the name than "its just a name she choses to use " it has purpose to.   The reason for the use of a Christian name I think is because of the anagram that can be made by changing 1 letter  of Rebecca.  The anagram that can be made is an adjective and definitely applicable to Jane Austen herself  and I suspect was also chosen because its not such an easy anagram to spot thus being an attractive choice.   However it does mean using a Christian name for a servant.  If you change an E for an I  it is possible to make the word ACERBIC.  But here again no obvious connection to the text. 




Maddison was Henry Crawford's land agent.  The surname Maddison  makes the straightforward anagram of the  word diamonds.   Diamonds are of course the hardest of substances.   The text relating to Maddison and the clue (underlined)  within the text is as follows " Maddison is a clever fellow; I do not wish to displace him - provided he does not try to displace me; but it would be simple to be duped by a man who has no right of  creditor to dupe me - and worse than simple to let him give me a HARD  hearted, griping fellow for a tenant instead of an honest man, to whom I have given half a promise already."  Maddison the character appears twice in Mansfield Park.  The appearance of Maddison in the above quoted text is his second appearance. His first appearance comes  a little earlier in the same paragraph.  Straightforward anagrams are few and far between .  So few that this is the first.  

Added June 27th  2018 


Persuasion and Northanger Abbey


I had not  expected to read Persuasion again either. I had to re-read it again from a study point of view rather than any  enjoyment.  Checking as I read whether there are any more  examples of anagrammatic word play similar to those described already, in  Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park .  I felt sure that there would be some.  In fact I have earlier predicted that some would be found.  


So I have now read the book  through again and sure enough there are  more Easter Eggs based around characters names.  I will only list six of these names although I am sure there are more.  These six can be  related in some way to the text.  Of the 6 possibilities  I feel absolutely sure of 1 of them and that is Baldwin 


Names omitted include Brand as in  Admiral Brand.   The changing of a letter or addition of a letter creates too many possibilities (brandy, brain , brawn , bread, broad, etc) and in my initial perusal, if there is any text to relate it to then I have missed it.   


Most of the names listed here as in both Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice make but fleeting appearances and similarly it seems to me in many ways are entirely superfluous to the plot.  They add nothing.  Why are they there? is a reasonable question to ask.   There would be no loss should they have been edited out.   Unless of course the reason that they are there is because they provide an Easter Egg to be found by the small audience of family members who heard her read and for whose enjoyment they were initially created . 


Surnames of interest


In this case Walter Elliot rather than Anne Elizabeth or William. Swap an L for a T.  The anagram to make is TOILET  as in "taking care with one's personal appearance" and personal appearance was as Jane Austen makes clear of undeniable interest to Walter Elliot.  ??? Not convincing 



Admiral Croft and his wife.   Not too many anagrams to be made by the addition, subtraction, or substitution of a letter  from Croft.  The most appropriate perhaps for an admiral especially one met with outside a shop selling pictures of boats, (was that scene a clue for those listening to Jane Austen read aloud  who hadn't got it yet ) is CRAFT   



The anagram to be found by substituting W for a G is BALDING.   There is a brief description of Admiral Baldwin a friend of Admiral Croft.  Jane Austen's portayal of him is as a man with "nine grey hairs of a side, and nothing but a dab of powder on top"  One might well wonder exactly what is the point of introducing and describing Admiral Baldwin and aspects of his physical appearance.   His character adds just about nothing to the plot or its development.  He says nothing, does nothing, appears and then disappears.  He could just as easily be edited out, except, once one considers/realises he is crucially important  as a vehicle for another of Jane Austen's Easter Eggs.  



Add an E to this name and the word BREEDING can be made.  Breeding:  was  important theme  not just in Persuasion but one to be found in all the books by Jane Austen that I have read so far.  It was also very important to all those within Jane Austen's circle. In terms of plot, narrative, characterisation what does Brigden bring to the book  one can  say pretty much the same for Captain Brigden as for Admiral Baldwin.  Each says nothing, does nothing  absolutely nothing.  Nothing would be lost by Brigden like Admiral Baldwin  being edited out unless of course Brigden like Baldwin is another Easter Egg.  I'm not at all sure about this one either      



A number of 8 and 9 letter words can be made from this name.   But one word in relation to Lisbon stands out.  Lady Mary Grierson it will be remembered was in Lisbon.  Frederick had he stayed a week longer in Lisbon would have been asked to bring  Lady Mary Grierson and her daughter  home.  The word that stands out and can be found by replacing the E for an A is  the word GARRISON.   During the Napoleonic Wars in  1809 the British army were fighting in Spain and Portugal.  At this time there was a garrison in Lisbon under British command.  What does Lady Grierson bring to the book.  Precious little it seems to me.  The same can be said for Lady Mary Grierson as for Admiral Baldwin  unless of course here is another Easter Egg. 



I have not found too many place names apart from "Sewell's Farm"that can be harnessed to create meaningful anagrams (Easter Eggs) in any other books.  But Winthrop seems a possible to me.  A place well known to Jane Austen and family can be found by substituting the P of Winthrop and replacing it with a g and thus making WORTHING.  


I have decided to include one example of anagrammatic word play from Northanger Abbey in this piece and that is Tilney.  Tilney.  There are five Tilneys in Northanger Abbey.  The General, Frederick, Henry, Eleanor, and lastly the Generals wife Mrs. Tilney.  The first four all have extensive parts to play throughout the book.  Mrs Tilney however doesn't because she is long dead and obviously can't.  She says absolutely nothing, she is a memory, but crucially, she has importance.  If the Y in Tilney is exchanged for an S the word SILENT can be made.  Or to put it another way Exchange the Y for an S and another Easter Egg can be made.  HMMM.

I still feel I am on the right track but also feel I am still scratching around in the dark. 


Added July 3rd 2018

Emma and more Easter Eggs


Aside from Jane Fairfax as detailed very briefly earlier there are unsurprisingly more Easter Eggs  to be found in Emma.  Jane Austen would sometimes write in code.  A letter, for example to her 8 year old niece begins, "Ym raed yssac...." Along with the Easter Eggs  explained so far I think I may have found an example of such  code in her work.  It concerns the name and title of her book Emma.   I checked the Scrabble Word Finder for Emma plus a question mark but found nothing of compelling interest.  I did not like the most obviously connective  anagram made by switching E for I and making  MAIM.  But while reading Emma I was struck by Jane Austen's usage of French, for which apparently she had a good level of  understanding.  What about exchanging an M for an I and leaving EIMA.   Not much there but much better is to exchange the other M for an I leaving  EMIA!?

AIME backwards!!! 

AIME as in Je t'aime I love you 

AIME  means in English Love.

Without love there would be no Jane Austen books.

Love so essential  to every book I have read by her so far.  


How many different examples of love are there in Emma.  It's what the book is all about  

LOVE  AIME  EMIA EMMA  Why not?     Personally I love the simplicity of its cleverness.  A giant Easter Egg hidden for 200 years! Amazing!  


Is that all.  No.  If you exchange the 2 Ms for 2 Ns you can make the name Anne

Many people think that in spirit if not actuality there is an autobiographical element to Persuasion.  With that in mind and "Easter Eggs" its interesting to note that if one swaps an N for a J in the name Anne then the name JANE can be made.

There is a little more to be said about EMMA later 


The first 6 are  ones I think least likely  

Taylor - Royalty

Otway - Today

Cole - Love

Miss Bates - (Mis) Takes

Partridge - Departing

Dixon - Doing   Jane Austen uses this word on 222 occasions according to the Jane Austen Thesauras.  Or what about Doxie (a mistress)  

Serle the butler. There maybe other possibilities perhaps for this name than my suggestion but I would like to point out that by removing the R and replacing with a W gives the name ELWES !!!  Elwes from gentleman, to farmer, to kitchen hand who chops up carcasses. 

Fairfax - Affair    This Easter Egg strikes me as being especially probable.

 Fairfax - Affairs  Jane Fairfax is thought by Emma to be conducting a secret affair with Dixon ie. is his mistress    

Firstly,because, the word affair and its meanings depending on context and  judging by its frequency of use is an important concept to Jane Austen.  The word affair is a noun and   according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus is used on 78 occasions.        


Secondly, because, Jane Fairfax was conducting  a secret affair with Frank Churchill.


Thirdly, because she was thought, mistakenly by Emma to be conducting an affair with Mr. Dixon.  The word affair according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus is used on 78 occasions. 


Fourthly, is the fact that the name Fairfax can by exchanging one letter for another make the word Affairs or by deleting a letter the word affair can be made.  2 Easter eggs from 1 name.     


Below is an especially relevant quote:

Emma spends a certain amount of time mistakenly speculating whether Jane Fairfax is having an affair with  Frank Dixon.  Mrs Weston is speaking with Emma re Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax  and says to Emma "and do you really believe the affair to have been carrying on with such perfect secrecy? -  The Campbells the Dixons did none of them know of the engagement?"  Emma could not speak the name of Dixon without a blush.    


Its so simple to miss, so simple to see.  


Elton - Alone   see Emma Part 1 Chapter 3   ..."Mr. Elton, a young man living alone" 

York Tan - Outrank  Although a word never  used by Jane Austen the noun Rank was used according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus on 43 ocassions.  Hmmm?   

Gilberts - Trebling "You and Miss Smith and Miss Fairfax , will be three and the two Miss Coxes will be five," had been repeated many times over. "And there will be the two Gilberts young Cox my father and myself besides Mr. Knightley. Yes, that will be quite enough for pleasure. You and Miss Smith, and Miss Fairfax, will be three, and the two Miss Coxes five; and for five couple there will be plenty of room. "     

Weston - Bestow The verb bestow was used by Jane Austen according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus on 29 occasions whilst bestowed was used 33 occasions. 


Astely Lastly given its position at the end of the book maybe more than just a visit to Astely's theatre

( Such very appropriate placement within the text)


Some of these are perhaps accidental or maybe red herrings in that they whilst they do make an easy to discover Easter Egg of some sort its not easy to relate them to the text in any way,  Otwa York Tan, Weston


I must also add a further possible word that can be found  in Pride and Prejudice by exchanging an  R for an E from  the name  Gardiner. The word regained can be made. Following Lizzies rejection of Darcy's humiliating proposal  or  Love / Paradise / (Pemberley) lost and then from  chapter 24 Lizzie in company with Mrs Gardiner meets Darcy and everything turns out well or to put it another way  Love / Paradise / (Pemberley)  REGAINED.   Maybe maybe not.  



As a well educated and well-read individual, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Jane Austen had read and or knew of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton.   

Added July 13th  2018       


More about Emma


Jane Austen, as is quite well known enjoyed riddles, conundrums, codes, ciphers, anagrams, etc. She writes as much in Emma.  A  book with references to codes, ciphers, riddles, conundrums, anagrams and maybe more throughout it.   Whilst reading through a second time looking for  Easter Eggs that I may have missed it was with some surprise that I realised the possibilty of another level of "larger" of Easter Eggs to be made.  Initially, I had thought it a little unusual that all Chapters began with the first 2 words in capital letters but like most thought no more of it.  It maybe, that it is just modern editions that begin like this but I think that unlikely.  More likely, I thought was surely that they follow the same textual idiosyncracies as the original first edition.  But that is not quite so.  Almost, but not quite.  




The first chapter beginning that I  noticed was Chapter 16  "THE HAIR." In that first paragraph Emma has had her hair curled and is sitting down thinking about Harriet. "The hair curled, and the maid sent away, and Emma sat down to think and be miserable . It was a wretched business, indeed! Such an overthrow of everything she had been wishing for! Such a development of everything most unwelcome! Such a blow for Harriet! " Another example  I thought, if you exchange the H for an R from the word THE the name Harriet is an anagram (Easter Egg) that can be made from the words THE and HAIR .  Interestingly also in this paragraph;  there are 4 exclamation marks the last one coming after the name Harriet!   


Is that simply one of the fascinating coincidental anomalies that occur from time to time in the English language or was that deliberate.  Deliberate.  I t must be!  Surely!  Given what I have written over the last 25 pages.  Given what I think I have already found.  It can't not be deliberate can it? What about if other chapter beginnings the 1st two words could be rearranged similarly 


Were there other chapter beginnings with the first 2 words printed in capital letters that could by exchanging one letter create an anagram relevant to the text.  In the edition I am reading the first 2 words of every chapter are written in capital letters.


Working backwards for some reason the next 2 word beginning  I could work out easily without the scrabble word finder was  Chapter 17 book 3 MRS. WESTONS.   Exchange the E for an O and the word SNOWSTORMS can be made. Delete tan S to make SNOWSTORM  There is the departure from Randalls in a  (modest ) snowstorm.    


Are there more. I wrote down every chapter beginning and put each one through the scrabble word finder to see if anything of interest would appear using the same methodology of exchanging one letter and thus being able to create a meaningful textually relevant anagram.    For some there was nothing that I found to, shall we say  excite. But others were of  interest.        


The chapters beginning  EMMA DID  could become ADMIRED. Admired was an adjective  used by Jane Austen according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus 58 times. When used as a verb, admire was used on 68 occasions.   These are examples of possible chapter headings that might contain an Easter Egg  


But the one worthy of special mention comes from Book 1 Chapter 14 SOME CHANGE.   


SOME CHANGE          


One can read this paragraph beginning "SOME CHANGE " simply in relation to the text that follows.  Or it could be read as a pointer that there were "Things" that changed ie. names such as Mr. Elton or maybe it could also be a pointer that some chapter headings changed as above.   By substituting one letter for another letter in this case the letter G for an L, the 2 words "SOME CHANGE"   make  (I think ) a stunningly  interesting anagram (Easter Egg)  in this context.  CHAMELEONS can be made!!!  How good is that?    AN ACCIDENT!     A COINCIDENCE!   I THINK NOT!  NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS!


The first 2 words of each chapter in the first edition of Emma are all in capital letters, with one exception.  That is in chapter 1 where the first 2 words are  Emma Wodehouse.  In the first edition of Emma, Volume one, Chapter one, has only Emma in capital letters.   Now why would that be?  A mistake or deliberate.  My Folio Society  edition has the name Emma Wodehouse in capital letters.  I presume a later editor has thought a mistake in the printing has been made and has changed it so that  both Emma and Wodehouse  are printed in capital letters.  I would have thought that Jane Austen, when she saw the proofs would have turned automatically to the first page  and if printing only Emma in capital letters  was  a mistake might have commented about such an error or made sure it was changed.  She expresses only satisfaction with what she sees.  Satisfaction because that was exactly what she wanted. 


With regard to Pride and Prejudice , Jane Austen wrote in a letter to her sister  that " I do not write for such dull Elves as have not a great deal of Ingenuity  themselves." Could the discovery of "Easter Eggs" be what she really means. 


Even with the best will in the world I cannot for a moment believe or think that a proportion at least  of  these examples of anagrammatic word play (Easter Eggs) are anything other than the creations of Jane Austen.  And as for the suggestion courtesy of Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec. of the JAS. that they are the creations of my ingenuity.  Ridiculous.   Would that I could.  



In my minds eye I can see Jane Austen sitting at the table writing and as she pauses from writing  she puts her head up and  laughs (quietly) out loud.    


I thought that  REYNOLDS / SPLENDOR   was clever but both "EMMA / AIME" and "SOME CHANGE / CHAMELEONS  " are even better? 

       As my friend Vince puts it "for 200 years Jane Austen has been having a right laugh Ha ha Ha." 

*  I have realised that some of the names in these  lists  of names from which meaningful anagrams can be made is maybe a little optimistic in its findings to say the least. There is a later recap about names that discards any name I do not feel sure about.  But there are many that seem absolute certainties.  


Winchester Races at Worthy Down 


Two  further possibilities as to why Robert Cary Elwes may have been anywhere near Jane Austen  in 1795/6 besides visiting his relatives in Winchester have emerged.


Firstly Elwes was to become a race horse breeder who purchased Great Billing Hall from the Duke of Devonshire's brother's estate;  an estate with its own private race course.  Elwes purchased this estate in 1799 having been associated with it since 1795.


At Worthy Down near Winchester horse racing was held.  Horse racing here was a major social event at the end of the 18th century to  which the great and the good would attend from far away so it is not impossible that a man with all the time and money he needed in which to do as he pleased, and with an interest in horse racing should be there.  Besides which he had strong family connections living within Winchester itself who if he did not already know about Worthy Down could have told him and would have provided a further good reason to visit.  


  * A newspaper article from 1794 gives a brief account of the social side of the occasion with the following quoted text 

    " The company was numerous and splendid - On Tuesday evening there was a concert at St. John's House. The theatre was opened as usual and was brilliantly attended on Wednesday evening, when the performances were by the desire of W. Chute Esq. the  steward of the races - The stewards ball and supper on Thursday evening at St. John's House, were attended by all the beauty and fashion in this city and neighbourhood"

       *Special thanks for the above newspaper report to John Slusar owner of the Greyhoundderby website  who made me aware of the existence of this  report through his interest in horse racing and among other things horse racing courses, including the one at  Worthy Down Winchester * 


Point No. 1

St. John's House Winchester is a grade II listed building with an 18th century first floor Regency Assembly Room.


Point No.2

The Chute family were undoubtedly known to the Austen family through James Austen who was the vicar of Sherbonne St.John just outside of which  the Chutes lived in a magnificent country house known as the Vyne.


Point No. 3

Although there is no account of the entertainment associated with the Winchester races in the years 1795/6 its highly probable that there were very similar entertainments in these years, and that there was a stewards ball, whether the steward was W. Chute is not at this moment known but I can find no reason so far for him not to have been the steward of the races in 1795/6 at Worthy Down Winchester.  


Point No. 4 

If  W. Chute Esq. were still the steward at the Worthy Down races 1795/6 and at the time of writing it appears he was and no reason why not ; and  given that the Austen family and the Chute family who must have known each other fairly well through  at least  James Austen, Jane's brother and  because  W. Chute owned "The Vyne" in Sherbonne St. John and James Austen was the vicar of Sherbonne  St. John courtesy of W. Chute.  Would it be a surprise if  Jane Austen were an invited guest at the stewards  ball in 1795/6.   Close Friends and acquaintances of the steward would be likely to be invited.   Young attractive ladies are always needed at such events and I would be more surprised if she did not get an invite than if she did, and if so could this be the ball that provides the basis for the ball at Meryton were Elizabeth first encountered Darcy and Jane Austen writing that everyone agreed that he (Darcy)  "was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world and everybody there hoped he would never come there again" The dating of the ball at Meryton it needs to be noted is not the same because the ball at St. John's House takes place in July whereas the ball at Meryton takes place Octoberish.


Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec of the JAS. has informed me that Jane Austen rarely went to Winchester, Balls or otherwise but if there were one good reason for Jane Austen being in Winchester and moreover at a  ball in Winchester then  the stewards ball organised by W. Chute after the racing at Worthy Down is it.  Isn't it?


Similarly if Robert Cary Elwes did travel to Worthy Down for the racing and there were a ball in Winchester to be attended by Robert Cary Elwes then the stewards ball after the racing at Worthy Down is likely and thus could the 2 have met.  Could they not? 


Yes its conjecture.  But its plausible conjecture with some structural factual support that provides answers as to how come and where Jane Austen could have met the man who might be the man with  definite similarities and commonalities with Darcy of Pride and Prejudice.  It explains how a man nobody had seen before or knew of, could have appeared from nowhere so to speak in a manner not dissimilar to the appearance of Darcy a man nobody had seen before.   

Added July 30th 2018        


A further reason for Robert Cary Elwes to be in Winchester besides horse racing and relatives relates to the death of his father and a Doctor John Berkenhout of Winchester.  Whether or not the Austen family knew of him or not I do not know although in his day he would have been a well known figure.  A clever knowledgeable man and published author see Oxford DNB entry.  But Robert Cary Elwes certainly knew of him.


Held in Northampton archives is an executors account book by one Francis Grojan and Charles Cary Barnard (a relative of the Barnards previously mentioned)  who was the trustee for the will of Cary Elwes, Robert Cary Elwes's father.  It details the income and expenses for the estate of Cary Elwes until Robert Cary Elwes reached the age of 21. 


There is an expense of 200 pounds for 17 days (the last 17 days in the life of Cary Elwes )  of medical care  payable to John Berkenhout of Winchester.  Berkennhout would therefore in all probability have been the last or one of the last people to have seen Robert Cary Elwes's father alive.


John Berkenhout's Wikipedia entry shows him as dying in 1791 so if Elwes did try to visit him it would have been in vain.   

Added  28  August  2018


Horse Racing Newmarket  Mansfield Park


I had suggested that the B____ races could be Banbury.  John Slusar of the greyhoundderby website has told me that there was no horse racing at Banbury between 1809 and 1813, therefore B_____ races is unlikely to be Banbury.  For the same reason this includes nearby Brackley also.  There was horse racing at Bedford during this period.

     However he did inform me of an interesting fact with regard to Robert Cary Elwes and horse racing at Newmarket. Newmarket was the race course that Tom Bertram had his accident and thus a race course that Jane Austen knew something of at least in order to include it in Mansfield Park.   In 1812 Robert Cary Elwes raced  and won with a horse  by the name of Master George at Newmarket. The Racing Calendar for 1815 lists the previous winners of races in 1812. The entry reads Master George, Mr. Elwes's 225 gns and 50 gns at Newmarket

              In the Sporting Intelligence section of the London Chronicle for 1812 is an article about the third October meeting at Newmarket in 1812 on Wednesday 28 October It reads  " Mr. Elwes's c. Master George 8st. 7lb. beat Lord Lowther's brother to Buttercup 8st 4lb. A. F. 50 gs.  five - 4 on Master George.

     Jane Austen wrote the book Mansfield Park between the years of 1812 and 1814 at Chawton Cottage.

     In early 2021 I realised there was another possibility for B______ Races that had been staring me in the face.   Elwes's estate at Great Billing had its own private racecourse and B  could easily stand for Billing   


Added   28  August  2018

Devon,  Jane Austen, and ?   


We know  that Jane Austen visited the county of Devon  in 1802/3 and stayed at amongst other places Sidmouth, Dawlish and Teignmouth.  We also know that a visit to this area had been planned by the Austens since 1801 and was known by Jane and her sister as the "Dawlish Scheme"  We also know that she met someone and that whoever it was she met sparked a slight rift between her and her sister.  "A man of the church?  Who could she have met.?  A closely guarded secret.  Nobody knows.  A theory, a suggestion  or two but no-one really knows.


In moments of dreamy speculation I wondered if it could possibly be Robert Cary Elwes.  Spreading himself far and wide you may think.  Could he have had any connection with that area of Devon.  A huge estate in Yorkshire, estates in Lincolnshire, the estate of Great Billing in Northampton and until the end of the 18th century at least in Throcking Hertfordshire.  A wild goose chase up a blind alley leading to a dead end.  I thought there was however a glimmer of light  to be seen far away near the dead end so to speak.


This glimmer  of light came initially via Robert Cary Elwes's youngest son Francis Emilius Cary Elwes.  Francis Emilius Cary Elwes was the author and creator of the manuscript written in 1863 which forms a major part of my  website blog  This manuscript contains a day to day diary for 1863 from January 1st until late September 1863.  In the early part of May  he records a duty visit paid to his mother at a place called Walland Cary that lasted a week.  Walland Cary was an estate belonging to his mother  near Clovelly in North Devon. 


Another gleam  of light came  through his brother, Richard James Cary Elwes, whose genealogical records show him as being born on the 18th September at Walland Cary.


Still brighter  light shone with knowing that Robert Cary Elwes's grand mother went by the maiden name of Martha Carey.  It seems as if this estate was inherited by Robert Cary Elwes via his grandmother.  


The full light of realisation dawned once I looked a little deeper into the origins of the  name Cary.  A name that is used as a Christian name, a  surname and gives itself to an estate name  indicates deeper origins.  And so it proves.  The name Cary is a family name with possible origins in Ireland, Somerset, 2 places in Devon and as far back as  at least the 12th century.


The first origin in Devon  is around Clovelly.  Members of the  Cary family owned estates around Clovelly.  In the local church there are tombs of long dead members of the Cary family to include one, who, along with hundreds of others was executed after the Battle of Tewksbury despite seeking sanctuary in Tewksbury Cathedral.  The Cary family owned this pretty village from the 14th century until the 18th century.


The second branch is based in South Devon.  They owned the Cockington Court estate in the village of Cockington also from the 14th century until the 17th century.  There is a pub in nearby Babbacombe called the Cary Arms.  During the 17th century its then owner, Henry Cary supported the wrong side in the English Civil War and was forced to sell Cockington Court  to pay fines.  Its what often happens to losers in war.  Henry may have lost his money or property  but he did at least keep his head.


In 1662 Sir George Cary a  distant relative of Robert Cary Elwes bought Torre Abbey and this abbey remained within the Cary family until 1930.


How coincidental:  Fitzwilliam Darcy has the same name for his given  Christian name as his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam has for his surname.  There are many Christian names that can be used as either Christian name or surname.  The use of Fitzwilliam as a Christian name though is very rare.  I cant imagine it is common practice to use a family surname as a Christian name in a different branch of the family who bear a different surname but it does happen.  


An example of it happening is  to be found in the Cary family.  The surname Cary has its traceable roots way back to the 12th century and amongst other places in the late 18th /early 19th century can be  found belonging to George Carey of Torre Abbey.  The Elwes name is a branch of the Cary family.  Robert Cary Elwes's grandmother was a Cary.  Robert Cary Elwes's  father, a  cousin, had as his first given Christian name Cary.  A different spelling but then it is being used as Christian name not a surname.


Now that  is an interesting coincidence is it not?  


Another interesting coincidence to note is that the real Colonel of the Derby Militia had as his Christian name  George as in 1802 does Robert Cary Elwes's  cousin George Carey.          

         Yet  another interesting coincidence is that George Cavendish like George Cary held the rank of Colonel during the Napoleonic Wars.     Darcy's cousin was Colonel Fitzwilliam  

          One more coincidence for luck.  The Christian name of  George Cary's father like the Christian name of George Cavendish's father was.... William.     

         Whilst looking through the Elwes family archives at Northampton Archives  I  remember coming across material relating to George Cary.  Which George Cary and exactly what the material was I do not know.  I did not bother looking through it because I did not realise the possibility then of finding anything of interesting relevance.  However the very fact that Cary material is to be found within this archive  does show that the two branches must have had some sort of interaction.  In 2019 I will look again at this archive material.     


The view of Torre Abbey from the sea as it is today overlooking Torbay . It is a view  and a place that 2 of Jane Austen's brothers Charles and Francis absolutely must have known.  It is a simply untenable proposition to suggest otherwise.  Especially the older and more senior Francis.  Both served for a time in the "Channel Fleet.  It would have been basic elementary  knowledge that Torbay was a place with safe anchorage and where the Channel Fleet would  take refuge during a storm in the English Channel.  It would also have been common knowledge that the owner of Torre Abbey was very hospitable towards officers of the Channel Fleet and it is quite likely, probable even that these 2 Austen brothers had also met George Cary cousin of Robert Cary Elwes. 


Firstly: Could Torre Abbey be the original siting of Northanger Abbey?


Jane Austen gives some  short descriptions of various aspects of Northanger Abbey in the book Northanger Abbey.  Parts of the  location, the layout of the buildings and the gardens of Torre Abbey are it seems highly reminiscent of the fictional Northanger Abbey.  Although Northanger Abbey is not beside the sea or at leaast if it is we are not told this, it  does not have a magnificent medieval barn nor a converted chapel  (to have described such recognisable individualistic features  would perhaps have given away its location whereas omitting its proximity to the sea and the possession of a barn and chapel makes discovering its location rather more problematic)   Add also a billiard room and fine library neither of which were possessed by Torre Abbey and the disguise is complete. Jane Austen describes the ground to the North and East of the Abbey but not to the south which is where the sea is  in relation to Torre Abbey.  



Although formerly a monastery rather than a convent before the Reformation Torre Abbey was a very wealthy order like Northanger Abbey.  Long before in the mid 17th century Torre Abbey similarly to the Tilney family and Northanger Abbey became the property of the Cary family some time after the Dissolution and in the early 1800's had been in their hands  of the Cary family for nearly 150 years.


Jane Austen writes of Northanger Abbey  "of a large portion of the ancient building still making a part of the present dwelling although the rest was decayed, or of its standing low in a valley, sheltered from the north and east by rising woods of oak"  could just as easily have been written of Torre Abbey and its oaks to the north and east.   From what remains of the gardens of Torre Abbey it would also appear that these to would  have been as impressively  substantial and noteworthy just as they were in Northanger Abbey.   


Secondly: Torre Abbey is just over 8 miles from Teignmouth whilst Dawlish only a few miles further away at 12 miles. Well within range of a day trip even from Dawlish.  A days walk.  An easy trip for Jane Austen to have made in 1802/3 when she is known to have been staying in Teignmouth in lodgings  known as "Great Bella Vista" Its a bit further away from Dawlish but still easily close enough for a day trip in a carriage.

Thirdly: Is there any possibility that the unnamed mystery individual encountered  during the Austen's stay in Devon  could possibly be Robert Cary Elwes.  That the surprise encounter leading to red faces, beating heart, joint embarrassment between Darcy and Lizzy  is a loose account of a meeting between Jane Austen and Robert Cary Elwes  6 years later when time and life may have altered him.  Who knows?  Its very speculative of course and there is no evidence to confirm that they met but.....  


Fourthly:  Who was the "churchman" that Jane Austen was reputed to have loved?  Could he have been a secret  coded reference relating to Torre Abbey?  A humorous reference by those who knew.  Maybe, maybe not.


Torre Abbey does have similarities strong to Northanger Abbey.  The book Northanger Abbey was sold to a publisher by the name of Crosby in 1803.  It may have been finished as early as 1799 although there is the probability that it underwent some later revisions.  In 1809 Jane Austen writes a letter to the publisher who had made no effort to publish the work a revised edition.   The description of Northanger Abbey is towards the latter half of the book.  Whether 1799 was the actual date the novel was originally finished or whether nearer 1803 when sold for publishing is not really known; nor is the extent of any revising prior to the letter to the publisher in 1809.  So it is definitely not impossible  for her to have known about Torre Abbey and written something in relation to it.  To me at least the descriptions of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen do read  like the descriptions of a real place that either Jane Austen and or someone she knows has visited and described.  They have detail within that sounds based on reality ie  Rumford fireplaces.  

Rumford Fireplaces


Rumford fireplaces were invented by Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford in the very late 18th century and in 1802/3 were a  recent invention which quickly became very popular for the obvious reasons that they were far more efficient in giving out heat, all the smoke went up the chimney and last but not least for the same amount of heat they consumed a lot less wood.   He wrote 2 papers on the subject one in 1796 and one in 1798.   A particularly noticeable quality of a Rumford would be their decrease in size and style when compared with the enormous fireplaces and surrounds that would, previous to their installation have been in place.  This is how Jane Austen describes the fireplace in Northanger Abbey " The fire - place, where she had expected the ample width and  ponderous carving of former times was contraced to a Rumford"      

Their shape was very distinctive as  the fireplace in the dining room at Torre Abbey shows.    ( see Below ) There are online images of the dining room at Torre Abbey.  Its not a small room and the fireplace is is very like a Rumford design.   Originally the fireplace would have been faced with plain marble slabs.  Although the encaustic tiles are late Victorian or later these could have been added much later.


There are two principal features that distinguish a Rumford fireplace.  One is the fireplace as described above, the other is the chimney.  The chimney was designed and shaped so as to facilitate the efficient and speedy removal of smoke up the chimney.  Unfortunately the chimneys are now all blocked up and so it is not  at the moment  possible to discern the shape of the chimney and show whether it is indeed a Rumford fireplace or not.


Today there are only 4 fireplaces left that are visible.  The chimneys of all 4 are blocked.  200 years ago, a place the size of Torre Abbey must have had many more fireplaces than just 4.  The rest today are now all removed, bricked up etc.  


It's not impossible that some 21st century imaging maybe able to give an idea of the profile of the chimney but firstly this is not cheap and secondly will require the permission of Torre Abbey management.


To the left are  photographs of the dining room  at Torre Abbey and the   fireplace in the dining room at Torre Abbey.  It is very much like a "Rumford "fireplace  This dining room is a large room and for such a large room this appears to be a rather modest sized  fireplace and whilst the fire surround is not unattractive it is a much smaller and less ornate fire surround than might be expected in such a large main room.   

        Doctor Michael Rhodes is the author of a book about Torre Abbey entitled  "Devons Torre Abbey Faith Politics and Grand Designs" Doctor Michael Rhodes is a former Head of Museum services for Torbay Council.  I contacted him about the possibilities that Northanger Abbey and its similarities if any with Torre Abbey.  He has duly read the relevant text from Northanger Abbey and has this to say.  From the description of Northanger Abbey it is certainly plausible that Jane Austen visited the abbey.  The owner of the house  at the start of the 19th century George Cary did have visitors some of whom would be shown around parts of the abbey.  So given that in 1802 Jane Austen was nearby in Teignmouth and Dawlish its not impossible that she and her sister visited Torre Abbey and did get to see inside.  In some of her books Jane Austen does describe visits made by various characters to places of interest that relate to the book ie. Pemberley so  the practice of visiting country piles like Torre Abbey was a practice  with which she was familiar and no doubt, sooner or later, somewhere or other, experiences.

He then says that whilst there are definite similarities there are also some dissimmilarities most notably the view of the sea to the south from balcony windows, the absence of a magnificent medieval barn, no description of the fine private chapel, the inclusion of a billiard room and well stocked library.  These highly distinctive points are significant.  However if Jane Austen had mentioned the splendid views of the sea to the south from the balconies, the magnificent medieval barn and the very fine private chapel then her description would have been highly recognisable as Torre Abbey.  By omitting these features and adding a non- existent billiard room and well stocked library an abbey not immediately like Torre Abbey is easily and simply created.   He also lists the similarities as he sees them between Torre Abbey and Northanger Abbey.

He says    

     "You will find information about the phases of building works in my book on Torre Abbey, which is available for a song on Amazon.   If you can obtain this, you will see that the South East wing and East side of the Abbey were subject to a series of alterations and improvements during the late 18th century, the most major of which occurred between 1803 and 1809" (so would pre-date the publication of Jane Austen's novel.  There is however evidence that Jane Austen did do some revision a few years prior to eventual publication).   The book also describes how Torquay started to become a tourist resort from the late 18th century, and how genteel visitors would call upon the Cary family, and might be shown the principal rooms.  He goes on to say 

1.  There is no evidence of a pinery at the period you are interested in, though they could have had one.
2.  The main staircase dates from 1741-3 and does indeed have carved oak ornaments.
3.  The drawing room was very large and had folding doors (removed in 1930, though I have a photo of them prior to this).  It dates from the Napoleonic period, though I suspect its post 1803.
4.  Its hard to imagine a visitor who would not have mentioned the sea views and the balconies off the 1st floor drawing room.

I have refreshed my memory of Northanger Abbey by re-reading sections of text.  I think it is certainly plausible that Jane Austen visited Torre Abbey and was inspired by what she saw.  The Abbey in her book is nevertheless definitely not a description of Torre Abbey:

Points of similarity
* Long damp passages
* Narrow cells
* ruined chapel
* contemporary furniture
* Chapel of St. Anthony 2 miles away is reminiscent of St. Mary's Chapel 2 miles away from Torre Abbey
* Large modern Gothic windows
* Rooms look onto quadrangle of former cloister
* The Abbey had a collection of old deeds and papers (now in the Devon Records Office)
* It had a small hot house
* It had a grove of Scots firs
* A library (though the Cary's did not read much, and their library was that of the Catholic parish priest)
* Family portraits
* Real drawing room, as compared to the 1st floor drawing room with folding doors, could refer to the ballroom (now Mayor's Parlour)"

*  There were shutters in the bedrooms, as there were in most similar properties in the late 18th to early 19th centuries.
* There was a sizable kitchen garden, as was the case in most properties of similar size.
* There was a construction of some kind in the garden immediately behind the abbey, in the former cloister area.  No pictures survive to say anything about its size or construction.  The family used it to take breakfast in the summer months.
* If the kitchen was modernised in the late 18th century, all traces of the improvements have been obliterated by the more extensive improvements of the late Victorian period.  The only features that might survive from this era are the octagonal wooden pillars that propped the sagging floor of the 18th century sitting room above, though its perhaps more likely that they date to the early 1800s."


     Northanger Abbey does contain two further very interesting passages that could relate to Torre Abbey.  I quote from the first edition "The elegance of the breakfast set forced itself on Catherine's notice when they were seated at table; and, luckily it had been the General's choice.  He was  enchanted by the approbation of his taste, confessed it to be neat and simple, thought it right to encourage the manufacture of his country, to his uncritical palate, and for his part,  the tea was as well flavoured from the clay of Staffordshire as Dresden or Seve.  But this was quite an old set purchased two years ago."


     Firstly and most obviously the French porcelain  manufacturer Sevres  has been spelt incorrectly.  In the first edition it is spelt Seve instead of Sevres.  Why should that be?  One reason I think could be because she did not know how it was spelt and her spelling was based upon another's incorrect pronunciation.  Another reason could be that she was copying the spelling of another. 


      Could this other pronunciation for example have been by the owner in 1802-3 of Torre Abbey George Cary  when Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey.  He was familiar with France having received a Catholic education  at the English Secular College  in Duoai.  Or could this incorrect spelling have come via one of her two brothers Charles and Francis (see next section below)    George Cary  was  familiar with some at least of the finest English bone china dinner services having commissioned one with the family emblem, from Chamberlains of Worcester.  In Doctor Michael Rhodes book about Torre Abbey there is an illustration of a soup tureen, with its cover, plate and ladle from this superlative service.  The dating of this set is 1786 - 1810.  Whether this dating is because of the imprecision of the dating marks or whether its manufacture was spread out over this period I do not know. 


That Northanger  is not an exact description of Torre Abbey is to be expected is it not.  An exact description would have been recognisable.  Singing the praises of the wonderful sea views that the abbey looked onto would have made it unmistakable.  If Jane Austen had wanted you to know where it was she would I think have named it.  The fact that she has not described it accurately creates a little more mystery.  

There is indeed a ruined chapel close to Torre Abbey.  Although previously long thought to be part of Torre Abbey 20th century research suggests it may never have been .  Whatever the case, there is a ruined chapel nearby.


In early 2021 I learnt that Robert Cary Elwes also knew something of France and I would imagine french bread  having spent time in  Paris in 1790.  A portrait current whereabouts unknown was painted of him by society painter of the day Ludwig Guttenbrun.


The second interesting point to make in relation to France comes  towards the end of Northanger Abbey.  Catherine's mother says to her "I did not quite like, at breakfast, to hear you talk so much about the French bread at Northanger."


Given George Cary's French education it seems eminently possible that French bread could well have been served at breakfast.   




      In the very early years of the first half of the 19th century Torquay was a very small area with just 40 or so houses and 2 inns.  But visitors had started to arrive for summer holidays partly at least because of the bather friendly conditions, of definite appeal to Jane Austen who enjoyed the seaside and its bathing  pleasures.  Why should she not have visited the area close to Torre Abbey in 1802/3.   Nor was it  unusual for visitors to call at Torre Abbey because it was the principal house in the area. Why also might she not have called here.  2 ladies of genteel birth and upbringing with the naval connections of 2  brothers.

       Whilst reading Doctor Michael Rhodes's book about Torre Abbey  I have been struck by the possibilty, nay probability that Jane Austen may have known about the existence of Torre Abbey for a period of months perhaps even years.   Her knowledge,  if she did indeed know about Torre Abbey could have come from either of her brothers, Francis and Charles.  Especially Francis, the elder brother  who we know wrote many letters to their  sisters detailing their activities in the navy.  As  officers in the navy, and in the Channel Fleet they must have spent some time on board one ship or another  in the English Channel.  In times of very stormy weather ships would if possible take shelter.  One place where shelter was superb and which  each brother must have been aware of at least  was Tor Bay, a large natural harbour  situated on an easterly facing coast and thus largely protected  from the westerly storms.  Overlooking Tor Bay is Torre Abbey.  Its owner in the late 18th early 19th century was George Cary.  A man whom, according to Michael Rhodes was known to offer hospitality to naval officers.  Indeed Admiral John Jervis  Earl St Vincent*  is known to have spent a winter in early 1801 recuperating there.  It is  well documented that George  Cary dispensed considerable time and hospitality to naval officers, to the extent that Torre Abbey was nicknamed "the George Inn"  It is, I think  inconceivable that  officers as intelligent as the  Austens  undoubtedly were, who had spent time as  officers in the navy up and down the Channel for many years , could not  or did not know of the shelter that Tor Bay provided and further I suggest did not make some use of it at some time and if they did shelter or visit Tor Bay I think it unlikely that neither brother  never went ashore.

       Many of  Francis's  log books survive from his earliest days  as a midshipman, then as a lieutenant and later as captain.  Log books of course only record day to day events on board ship.  So in all probability I can only expect to find positional   entries recording mooring/sheltering in Tor Bay.  Written entries recording what occurred on land at Torre Abbey cannot really be expected unless they relate perhaps to Admiral John Jervis Earl St. Vincent and the time during which he was recuperating and had an office in Torre Abbey.  These log books are available to view.  At some time in 2019/20 I will be examining these looking for entries that relate to Tor Bay, and if there are any I shall give further details. 

*If one were looking for a model on whom  General Tilney could have been based Admiral John Jervis Earl St. Vincent  might be worth considering.  

      George Cary the owner of Torre Abbey during the period 1792 - 1805 was not a general as  was the owner of Northanger Abbey General Tilney.   But he did have militaristic leanings.  Apparently so Doctor Michael Rhodes says he raised a corps of volunteers and liked nothing better than marching practice and pretend battles after which he invited the officers back for dinner.  He quickly achieved the rank of Colonel but as a Roman Catholic was forbidden from becoming a professional soldier and holding a commission and upwards to becoming a senior officer.  The Napoleonic wars were taking place whilst he was the owner of Torre Abbey and as part of the defense for  the Tor Bay area, in 1803 his corps became a part of the Haytor Regiment.  From 1803 an area known as Berry Head was garrisoned by  a detachment of the Haytor Regiment under Colonel Cary of Tor Bay.      

      I have never heard of Torre Abbey as being a possibility for being the original location for Northanger Abbey.  There were of course many abbeys in Britain in medieval times.  But following the dissolution of the monasteries  many were allowed to go to rack and ruin.  

      It seems to me though that a systematic  search ought to have unearthed the possibility of Torre Abbey as being the original model.  A systematic search based upon say a 20 mile radius of anywhere Jane Austen is known to have visited would have  eliminated many candidates.  None in Scotland and the north of England.  None in the East  of England above Kent.  None in Northern Ireland only a few possibilities in Wales and then the ones  outside a 20 mile radius of anywhere Jane Austen is known to have spent time.   Of these remaining discard any that are ruins and  any with many owners and there simply cannot be that many abbeys left that could be candidates to be the original location. 

       Of those left Torre Abbey must surely  be a prime suspect when considering where the original  model  for Northanger Abbey could in reality have been and therefore worthy of some further attention.  Its close proximity to where Jane Austen is known to have spent 2 summers whilst writing?  Northanger Abbey in nearby Teignmouth and Dawlish demands to be researched.   How could an abbey as  substantial  as Torre Abbey was, be ignored.  A little further investigation would have revealed  the commonality of its  ownership by the same family for 150 years or so.   A little more detective work would have discovered the certain  knowledge of Torbay as a safe sheltered anchorage in stormy weather and thereby certain knowledge of  Torre Abbey by her two brothers Francis and Charles, officers in the Navy.  Both of whom regularly wrote letters to their sisters in some detail,  giving substantial details about their lives and events in their lives.   Some, if not all of Francis Austen's log books still exist.  These probably do not mention going ashore for say dinner  etc in Torre Abbey but as a minimum they will include a ships daily positions.   It seems quite likely, probable even, that surviving logbooks will show the ship  Francis Austen was an officer aboard mooring in Torbay at some time between when he first became a midshipman in 1795 and when Northanger Abbey was published.

       Francis Austen and Admiral John Jervis were to some extent at least, known to each other from as  early a date as sometime in 1799. Francis Austen  was appointed commander of the ship Peterel on 3rd February 1799 and at a later date in 1799 is known to have delivered despatches from John Jervis  also known as the Earl St. Vincent whilst  at Gibraltar. They were for Rear-Admiral Nelson and he  arrived with them in May 1799 at Palermo.

        A description that came via Francis for example may well not have included a note about the view of the sea.  It was a view to him that he saw every day and therefore perhaps not really worthy of comment.  Another point to note  is the precise orientation of the description of the abbey sheltered by oak trees to the North and East.  A naval officer quite probably carried a compass with him at all times and therefore was easily able to state whether something was to the North or East whereas the majority of people would say behind or in front or to the left or to the right.   Locations as possible original source settings for many of the places described by Jane Austen surface regularly.  I'm amazed to find that nobody seems to have suggested Torre Abbey as the original source for Northanger Abbey. 


      Northanger Abbey underwent later revisions before its later posthumous publication.   So there is a possibility that  later detail about Torre Abbey may have been added later also.    

       At the time of writing late 2018 I have yet to examine these logbooks but hope to in 2019/2020


N.B.  Due  to Covid 19 this has not been possible to do.

Added February 12 2019 

       *Mansfield Park is a novel set in Northamptonshire. Although Jane Austen never went there she may have had descriptive assistance from either Martha Lloyd who she requests not to renew her enquiries about Northampton obliged as she (Jane Austen) is for them, because she can get what she wants from her brother Henry. 

       Hertfordshire was another place that although she herself never went to she has written about.  Supposedly, so I have been told, she was informed about Hertfordshire by some long removed relatives and about the presence of the Derby Militia in Hertfordshire by her brother Henry.  This information has been presented to me as fact by Maureen Stiller hon.sec. JAS. along with the "fact" that she learned about Chatsworth House via books and publications that were available at the time. Unhelpfully, when I have requested the source/s for these "facts" and where they are to be found so that I may see that they are neither theory, supposition or conjecture, total silence is the only answer I receive. 

       There are many other examples to be found in her work of her information coming from sources outside of her own actual experience. Much of her knowledge of naval affairs for example is surely from either one or both of her brothers Francis and Charles. 

       To me Jane Austen's descriptions of Northanger Abbey sound as if they may have some factual basis. Torre Abbey does seem to have strong similarities. Possibly she went there 1802/3 when her and her sister were staying nearby in Dawlish and Teignmouth. But if not one or both of her brothers could easily have provided enough detail from their own knowledge IF the ships they were officers on ever moored in Torbay.  Both brothers were officers in the Channel Fleet.  Its just not credible to propose that neither had any idea about Torre Abbey.  But suppose  not then they both must have known naval officers who did know about Torre Abbey.

     Maybe Torre Abbey is not the original inspiration for Northanger Abbey. But it has strong claims to be the original inspirational source that most if not all others do not have. 

The Real Life location of Thornton Lacey    Mansfield Park 


      In particular the village of Thornton Lacey passed through by Henry Crawford. 

       I think it was possible if anyone had looked to see if there was any possibility of a village based upon Thornton Lacey being anywhere in the vicinity of Northampton they would have happened across Great Billing.


       The basic description of finding Thornton Lacey is to ford a stream and upon a small knoll (or hill ) is a church, a stone's throw away from which is an old parsonage (if old then at least 50 and preferably one would think close to a hundred years old ) Sewell's farm is also nearby but there appears to be no gentleman's or half gentleman's residence.   Later we are told that Thornton Lacey is 8 an importanyt distance to remember  miles from Northampton. 

       Could there have been an original for Thornton Lacey to be based upon. Beginning with the assumption that there really was a village that Thornton Lacey is based upon.  Northamptonshire was a county with over 280 villages. Take a pin and place it wherever the odds of being right are 280 to 1. Using logic can this number be much reduced. If there really was a village that inspired Jane Austen then a good map to consult would be John Speede's map of Northamptonshire. 

      Although originally produced in the early 17th century it went through many editions and printings and provided the templates for most of the county maps of England for the next 100/150 years. Speede maps are very attractive to look at.  Nowadays they are usually found coloured although colouring varies with the skill of the colourist.  The town insets provide attractive details of the main county town.  However they are not accurate. Their inaccuracy is part of their charm of course and it was the combination of their inaccuracy and the need for accurate maps during the Napoleonic wars that led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey maps.  These first Ordnance survey maps in their original undissected form are at the very least to those who know them minor masterpieces of cartography. 

      There are not many features denoted on Speede maps but one feature of especial interest is that churches are noted. And where a church is noted on a 17th / 18th century map seems a good place to find an old parsonage. 

      Then I would propose studying the earliest Ordnance Survey map of the area  firstly 2 circles be drawn around the centre of Northampton.  One circle with a radius of perhaps 5 miles and another with a radius of 10 miles   and that every village with a church to be noted. 

      Secondly, I would propose that each village be checked with an early 19th century 6 inch to one mile map of the relevant area. These maps show a lot of detail. Contours, streams, churches, and parsonages are all clearly marked. 

To see if: 

a) there was a church on a hill 

b) if there was an old parsonage nearby, preferably close to a stone's throw away 

c) is there a stream to be forded from any direction 

d) check for any building that could be Sewell's farm 

       How many villages could be eliminated because the church is not on a hill or there is no parsonage either old in the early 18th century or nearby, or no stream to be forded I do not know;  but for absolute certainty  some perhaps most could be eliminated. 

      Sewell's farm is an odd one as is no gentleman's or half gentleman's house. Most English villages in the 18th century with a church and an old parsonage could be expected to have had at least one residence that was owned and occupied by a gentleman and that is the country house belonging to the estate.  So why would Jane Austen write that.  Answer I think is that a deeper underlying reason is there and she does not just mean this phrase  in the literal sense.  Those who knew her I think would have recognised a two handed insult to Elwes; firstly in naming  his residence as a farm and therefore by extension himself as a farmer rather than as a gentleman , and secondly in him not being recognised as a true gentleman. 

      A close examination of the remaining villages would obviously include Great Billing because a church is marked there on the Speede map, and if one looked through the various county histories of Northampton for example the Victoria County History of Northampton at the village of Great Billing then Great Billing Hall, its ownership by a son of the Duke of Devonshire owner of Chatsworth House and by the Elwes family from the last years of the 18th century.  A bell should be heard ringing in the distance. The long suspected location of Pemberley being Chatsworth ought to have demanded a closer look at Great Billing and its owners. If a closer look at Great Billing had been undertaken an old parsonage would also have been located and the close proximity of Great Billing Hall to the church and its rental and purchase in the late 18th century by Robert Cary Elwes would also have been found and who knows a closer examination of Robert Cary Elwes. 

      Those who enjoy crossword puzzles may have noticed that the addition of an L to the name Elwes and the name Sewell be made. Similar for the name Cary. Add a D and the name Darcy can be made. Further research through the Northampton Archives would have revealed the history of Great Billing Hall rebuilt in the latter quarter of the 18th century and its initial rental in 1795 and ownership in 1799 by Robert Cary Elwes and much much more. 

       Eight miles is the distance we are from Mansfield Park to Thornton Lacey.  A very precise distance.  Could reality link to Great Billing.  "I say Yes it could " 

     A search for the distance from Great Billing to Northampton gives the result of 6.4 miles. we are not given an exact location for Mansfield other than somewhere in Northampton.  If for example Great Billing is was directly or close to directly opposite but on the outskirts of Northampton a further distance must be added to 6.4 miles.  That must brings one fairly close to about 8 miles.    Close enough at any rate  to ponder whether Great Billing is the basis for Thornton Lacey.  


Not all roads lead to Rome but there is more than one way to arrive.

Robert Cary Elwes gentleman, who in 1795 was indeed a young, rich, and single man etc. 

      Many months after writing the above I came across the fragment of a novel "The Watsons" for the first time. Those who know this short extract will probably have heard the faint tinkle of another bell at the sight of the Christian name Robert.  The significance for significance there is of the name Robert is explained a little further on.


Added 12th September 2018 

      Are There Any Easter Eggs to be Found in Jane Austen's early work as a teenager  

      Darcy was the first Easter Egg that I thought I may have found. But whilst it was the first I had found was it the first to be laid.  Could there be more Easter Eggs in her earlier writings I wondered.  I had  no idea what her earlier writings were like; how good or bad they were, I've never read them.  But I hoped to find one little Easter Egg.  One would be enough. 

I soon  came across not one but two worthy of pondering.  They were in the first letter from Miss Margaret Lesley to Miss Charlotte Luttrell. I quote: 

       "My brother has just left us."Matilda" (said he at parting) "you and Margaret will, I am certain, take all the care of my dear little one, that she might have received from an indulgent, an affectionate, an amiable, Mother. tears rolled down his cheeks as he spoke these words - the remembrance of her, who had so wantonly disgraced the Maternal character and so openly violated the conjugal Duties, prevented him adding anything further; he embraced his sweet Child and after saluting Matilda and Me, hastily broke from us and seating himself in his Chaise, pursued the road to Aberdeen. "Never was there a better young man! Ah! how little did he deserve the misfortunes he had experienced in the married state. So good a husband to so bad a wife! for you know, my dear Charlotte, that the Worthless Louisa left him, her Child and reputation a few weeks ago in company with Danvers and dishonour.” 

      Matilda placed in the Scrabble Word Finder with a question marks produces a few results. One in particular has relevance to the quote above. Exchange the D for an R and the word MARITAL can be made. 

       Danvers placed in the Scrabble Word Finder with a question mark produces a lot of returns. But one just too interesting not to point out amongs, the results,  not to mention thought provoking and perhaps amusing,  can be created by exchanging the D in Danvers for a T and the word SERVANT can be made.  I did not see that coming. Sex outside of marriage between the well bred woman and a servant whilst not documented very much, could have happened and why would it not happen.  And of course there would be a great shame that came with being caught. 

    There is much rumour and fact about below stairs pregnancies, relationships, etc between servant girls and the like and masters and sons of masters, but what about the other way round.  Lady Chatterley 150 years earlier. Difficult to believe that such a thing never happened or if it did that nobody knew and that nobody talked.  Kept quiet;  Yes, I have no doubt of that, nobody is going to broadcast that sort of shame abroad.  But to say it never ever happened is something I don’t believe for a second. 

      In early 2019 I looked a little more into Jane Austen's writing for jokey, bawdy humour. It would seem that including shocking and salacious material with an amusing risque twist is not unusual for Jane Austen and if I'm right about the above seems to have started early in life. 


       A further Easter Egg maybe contained in the village of Woodston the small village in which Catherine is taken by General Tilney to the parsonage that is the accommodation that comes with Henry Tilney's living. If the D of Woodston is changed for an L the name Woolston is made. About a 3 hour drive away from Teignmouth and significantly less from Torre Abbey and less than 20 miles is the hamlet of Woolston Green. It appears to have had no church or parsonage in it but it does, by exchanging the L for a D lend itself to the easy creation of another Easter Egg. I have tried to find out whether the Cary family owned land or had the gift of a living anywhere near but with no success. The Cary's were a Catholic family so quite possibly they did not have the gift of a living in their hands Dr. Michael Rhodes suggested that finding out by going through all the documents and records would be the task of 2 Ph.D's.  So maybe not.  But  

      There is however one other place by the name of Woolston that I feel sure Jane Austen knew about. It is close (2 and a half miles) to Castle Square in Southampton where she lived for a few years. It must have been visible across the river Itchen too. It involves a ferry ride across the river Itchen to reach it though. It would appear from a quick look at the contours on an ordnance survey map of the area and as expected considering its closeness to the sea to be rather flat, as was Woodston according to General Tilney's apology for its flatness. It would, had she chosen to go on the Itchen ferry have been easily accessible to Jane Austen. However if she ever went there it does not appear as if Woolston in the early 19th century was anything more than a hamlet. 

       A church known as Pear Tree Church was built at Pear Tree Green in 1618. It adjoins the parish of Woolston. Whether a modern parsonage was built anywhere close to the year 1800 I do not know. The same can be said as to whether there was a view of a pretty cottage from the parsonage. 

       A biography of Jane Austen by Paula Byrne entitled "The Real Jane Austen A Life in Small Things" has this to say about time spent in Southampton and where she went and what she did "The Austens made family excursions by ferry boat on the River Itchen. They saw naval sites and the Gothic ruins of Netley Abbey.  Jane continued her long walks surrounding the town beside Southampton Water and and along the banks of the Itchen and Test rivers."  The Itchen ferry carried goods and people from Southampton to Woolston and  to Netley Abbey which is 2.2 miles from Woolston.  I do not know  where Paula Byrne sourced this information but assuming this is the case and I'm sure she is not mistaken when she writes this and if this is so Jane Austen must have known about the village of Woolston. 

Pride and Prejudice:

A little more that connects Darcy to Robert Cary Elwes 

        I have reread again Pride and Prejudice looking for clues and connections that I may have missed. Another  one that I have missed is the one where Caroline Bingley is invited by Darcy to make further suggestions for Darcy's domestic felicity. She replies to his question "Oh,yes. Do let the portraits of your uncle and aunt Philips be placed in the gallery at Pemberley. Put them next to your great uncle the judge. They are in the same profession only different lines." 

      In Pride and Prejudice Uncle Philips was an attorney and in the same profession as a great uncle of Robert Cary Elwes for Robert Cary Elwes had a great uncle who was a magistrate of some fame.  This particular relative inherited not one but two fortunes at a young age and was one of the wealthiest men in England.  He was considered to be the finest horseman in Europe.  Part of his life was spent as a magistrate of some repute, locally at least, to whose judgement people with disputes would come from far and wide to settle.  This led to him becoming an M.P. during which time he joined no party and voted as his conscience directed.  He was reputed to be impossible to bribe.  There is a biography of him by Edward Topham, which went through many printings in 1790.  It was entitled The Life of Mr. Elwes the celebrated miser. (its probable that he provided the inspiration for Scrooge) There is a frontispiece illustration to this book of John Elwes of which if one googles "John Elwes miser" an example can be seen. 

      I can trace few mementoes of Robert Cary Elwes's existence.  No letters, no anecdotes, no journals, nothing. He or others appear to have either destroyed all correspondence between others and himself, or there was none; and for a man in his position there must have been some.  It’s almost but not quite as if he did not exist. Northampton Archives hold a considerable amount of Elwes family material and it is almost devoid of anything to do with him. But he has left some written evidence.  An executors account  signedby himsel;f and Charles Drake Barnard.  More  is to be found in his banking records with the bankers Goslings currently held by Barclay Archives Group.  At the end of each year he signs off the account record for that year.  (see illustrations below)  At some time in the future I hope to be able to have his handwriting analysed to see if it can be shown to corroborate any aspects of Elwes's character with what we are told about Darcy. 

      Some things about his handwriting are easy to discern. For example, Elwes in common with Darcy does not write at great speed. He has I would suggest like Darcy even handwriting. His signature with the enlarged R and C and especially the 2 full stops after each capital  I am sure will reveal further commonalities, but no further comment from me for now. At sometime? in 2019/2020 I hope to have his handwriting analysed. 

Added 29 October 2018 

Longbourn "Hertfordshire" to Gracechurch Street London 24 miles 

In chapter 27 of Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen informs us that Gracechurch Street in London is exactly 24 miles from the village of Longbourn itself a mile outside the town of Meryton. 

The village of Amwell is one mile to the south of Ware. 

If Amwell is the original location of Longbourn then it would need to be 24 miles from London. 

Suppose that Amwell and Ware are the real locations for Longbourn and Meryton. In order to disguise its exact location might Jane Austen have situated Longbourn one mile the other side of Meryton. If this were the case then the distance to Gracechurch Street from Longbourn would be 24 miles. 


To the left is a  photograph of an old milestone just outside the town of Ware and in the village of Amwell. It clearly pertains to the parish of Amwell. A traveller heading north would see that one mile away was the town of Ware and had he/she come from London had travelled 20 miles and vice versa.

The illustration to the left is of a rare hand coloured map of the area 15 miles around London entitled The Pedestrians Companion pub. 1822 by M. J. Godwin approx 600mm by 580mm 

The illustration below to the middle left shows the town of Enfield. Enfield is a town on the  main route to Ware in 1822. This was the main road to Ware and went back centuries.  

The illustration to the middle right shows the distance among other places in Middlesex to Enfield  from London.

The illustration at the bottom of the page  shows part of (The list of Places from which the Principal roads are Measured. Roads to Enfield and thence to Ware are measured from Hicks Hall.

Milestones like the one illustrated above, along the way are also measured from their respective starting positions in London in this case Hicks Hall and in the above illustration of the milestone at Amwell 

The reason for Gracechurch Street  being 24 miles away is explained thus the distance of milestones along the route from London to Ware was calculated from the  starting point of Hicks's Hall in St John 's Street Clerkenwell. 


Hicks's  Hall according to a hand coloured map I have entitled The Pedestrian's Companion 15 miles round London published by  M.J. Godwin 1822 states that the road to Enfield and thus to Ware is measured from  Hicks's  Hall. Hicks's  Hall no longer exists and has not existed for well over 200 years  but road measurements were traditionally taken from where the front of the building originally stood. If one was travelling from one mile north of Ware to London that would make a distance of 22 miles. (See illustrations below)


The distance from  Hick's Hall to Gracechurch Street was 1. 8 miles. Add the 2 distances together and the distance of 24 miles from Gracechurch Street London to "Longbourn" (Amwell) one mile north of "Meryton" (Ware) is arrived at.     



A Recap about Easter Eggs 

1) Jane Austen owned a set of ivory letters now in the British Museum and undoubtedly she would have played a common parlour game/s that revolved around the creation and discovery of anagrams. 

2) She writes about a game involving anagrams in Emma (See blunders and Dixon) and she also enjoyed puzzles 

3) The possibility therefore of Jane Austen making use of names to create Easter Eggs (anagrams) is certainly a feasible concept. 

4) I feel sure also that she easily had sufficient ability as a writer and was smart enough as an individual to have had the idea to incorporate "Easter Eggs" within the texts. 

5) Puzzles and riddles and codes all provided her with amusement. Should it be a surprise to encounter anything of this nature in her work.  The surprise I think is not to find them, not that they are there. 

     I have said before that I think I have found 4 methods by which Jane Austen inserted Easter Egg anagrams into her work by using names. They are 

1) By adding a letter to a name that she knew ie D to Cary to create Darcy. 

2) By a straightforward anagram ie. Maddison to Diamonds 

3) By exchanging a letter from a name to create a word that relates to the text in some way or to the context of the paragraph in which it appears ie. Baldwin: exchange the letter W for a G and the word Balding can be made (see description of Baldwin in Persuasion) Below is a list of the names and the anagrams that can be made using this method in which I think it is most difficult to dispute that these are the deliberate creative intentions of Jane Austen. 

4) By deleting a letter to create a word that relates to the text or context of the paragraph in which it appears. ie. Baddeley: By deleting the letter B the word Delayed can be made which relates to the context of the paragraph in which the name Baddeley first appears namely Delay. 

       But after reflection, I have realised that perhaps in reality there are only 2 methods that should be considered. 

Method 1 only exists for Cary To Darcy and Elwes to Sewell and should really be part of method 4. By removing the D from Darcy the name Cary can be made and the L from Sewell (as in Sewell's farm) the name Elwes can be made. Of relevance of course only if Jane Austen knew or knew of Robert Cary Elwes 

      Method 2 only exists for Maddison. Maddison so far as I can tell is the only straightforward anagram from a name to a word that I have found. Although it relates to the context of the paragraph in which it appears and although I feel certain that Jane Austen knew perfectly well that by using the name Maddison the anagram diamonds could be found, and that this was indeed her intention, because this is the only exact anagram from a name to a word that I have found I need to accept the possibility that this is just a chance occurrence. I would make the point though that it is not that easy to make words from 7 or 8 letter names. *  See  "Now I begin to Understand....I think"   


Which leaves methods 3 and 4. 

     Some of the names/ anagrams that I have listed initially are quite possibly wrong. Maybe I have come to the wrong answers just like her earliest audience. But some of the names/anagrams cannot be written off so easily. Listed below are some of the most significant and most probable examples for both methods. 

    Method 1: exchanging one letter for another and creating an anagram that relates to the text in general or context of the passage in which it appears. 

Reynolds / Splendor 

Baldwin / Balding 

Nicholls / Scullion 

Elton / Alone 

Fairfax /Affairs, or possibly Affaire 

Gilberts / Trebling 

Some Change / Chameleons 

The Hair / Harriet 

Matilda / Marital 

Danvers / Servant 

Serle The cook by the name of Serle should be included too. Exchange the R in Serle for a W and the name Elwes can be made. From gentleman Darcy/ Cary to farmer Sewell/ Elwes to the servant class that a cook belongs to in Serle/ Elwes. Is the choice of the name Serle really just an accident to which no deeper hidden meaning should be ascribed? 

     Method 2: removal of 1 letter and creating an anagram that relates to the text in general or context of the passage in which it appears. 

Fairfax / Affair 

Denny /Deny 

Baddeley / Delayed 

Nicholls / Collins 

Bourgh / Bough ??? Bow 

Darcy and Sewell / Cary and Elwes 

      With both methods as outlined earlier an anagram either by exchanging one letter from a name for another letter, or by removing one letter from a name, an anagram can be made which in some way connects to the text in general or the context of the passage in which it appears. For the names Nicholls and Fairfax an anagram that relates to the text can be found using either method. There is no possibility that anyone other than Jane Austen wrote these texts and so therefore 

There are 3 possibilities 


Option A) 

      I have found not one but 2 incredible series of random coincidences whereby the names of an author's characters can be utilised to make anagrams in 2 different ways ie. The exchange of one letter for another or the removal of one letter to create an anagram that also pertains to the text or context of the passage in which they occur. How likely is that to have happened purely by chance in multiple instances !!!!!????????? 


      For this to be the case it must be possible to find replicated in exactly the same 2 ways not I stress different ways, sooner or later in many another author's work, from their earliest examples of writing until their latest examples and for a multitude of authors across all world literature. How likely is that !!!!!??????????? 

    Look for example at Mr. Elton and the anagram that can be made by exchanging the T of Elton for an A. The phrase in Emma that reads "Mr. Elton, a young man living alone." Looked at in isolation it is perhaps only natural to assume, or think, or suggest, that this is just a coincidence of language that could happen anytime, anywhere, any place. An interesting anomaly but nothing more than a simple random occurrence. I accept that. 

      But how often does an anagram that can be created in this way, need to be found before it ceases to be a simple random event. That the repeated methodology and pattern becomes recognised as the deliberate design of its author.  3 times should be enough to establish random event or deliberate patter. 

Consider Reynolds and Splendor and the relevant quote below from Volume 3 Chapter 1 para. Elizabeth is being shown round by the housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds.  But N.B. we are not told her name immediately.   

       "The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor, but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy or uselessly fine; with less of SPLENDOR, and more real elegance than Rosings" 

     By exchanging the Y of Reynolds for a P the word Splendor can be made. But it is not just this exchange of letters that needs to be considered. 

        Two points to consider: Jane Austen initially wrote her stories to be read aloud to a small family audience who I think would have known that there were 2 types anagrams to be found if they cold find them. In reading aloud her audience would most probably have spelt Splendor in their minds with the OUR ending, and the phrase that reads "less of Splendor" and use of the word less was a clue telling them that a letter had to be removed from their way of spelling Splendour before the exchange of letters that created the anagram Reynolds to Splendor could be made. 


     Jane Austen uses the word Splendour with the OUR ending on 7 occasions but only once and of necessity with the Or ending in the above example. I say this is the deliberate design of Jane Austen. Its clever, its simple and it requires a certain ingenuity to figure it out. Jane Austen wrote about Pride and Prejudice that "I do not write for such dull elves as have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves." A later editor in one edition of Jane Austen's works has seen fit to "correct" the spelling of Splendor to Splendour. 

Reynolds/ Splendor seems pretty clever to me. 

        I struggle with the concept that the 2 anagrams shown above which can be created in this way and with one which is quite as good as Reynolds /Splendor can possibly be the pure coincidence of 2 random occurrences. 

So here are 2 more. 

Fairfax and Nicholls. 

     These 2 are especially interesting because by using each method an anagram can be found that relates in some way to the texts in which they appear. Jane Fairfax is having a secret affair with Frank Churchill. If the X from Fairfax is removed then the anagram affair can be made. 

     Later we learn that Emma erroneously suspects her of having an affair with Dixon. 2 secret affairs. By exchanging the X for an S the anagram affairs can be found. 

      "As soon as Nicholls has finished making white soup enough I shall send round my cards" Bingley tells his sister. If the letter H is exchanged for a U the word scullion can be made. Scullion is a word meaning kitchen servant; now little used, but in 18/19th century England a common enough term and any household of any worth would have had a scullery maid. The removal of the H from the name Nicholls allows the name Collins as in the character Mr. Collins to be made. 

Can the above plus several more not described all really be just the happenings of chance? 

      If unconvinced look at and consider carefully Baldwin/Balding, look at and consider carefully Some Change/Chameleons, look at and consider carefully Denny/Deny, look at and consider carefully Baddeley/ Delayed, look at and consider carefully Gilberts/Trebling, look at and carefully consider Bourgh/Bough/ Bow, look at and consider carefully Matilda/Marital, look at and consider carefully Danvers/Servant, and more.


     The words Blunder and Dixon and perhaps Pardon, the last word supposedly suggested by Jane Austen as the third word that the letters swept away by Jane Fairfax and which the reader does not get to learn.  Frank Churchill suggests that Jane Fairfax is having a secret affair with Dixon.  Emma suspects Jane Fairfax of having an affair with Dixon. 

     The Scrabble Word Finder gives several words that can be made from blunder plus a question mark.  Two likely ones both formed by exchanging the N for an O are Doubler or perhaps but less likely Bounder.  Dixon though provides a much more appropriate anagram.  Exchange the N again this time for an E and one very striking word under the circumstances that can be made is Doxie, the meaning of which is mistress or prostitute.  Finally Pardon.  Here again from the words that can be made there is one strikingly appropriate word to be made given that both Jane Fairfax's parents are dead.  Exchange the letter D for an H and the word Orphan can be made. 

    Emma Chapter 20 which begins "Jane Fairfax was an orphan..." maybe worth a second deeper look and if the text has anything to do with it the anagram to be made from Blunder is Doubler.

      Would anyone argue that Jane Austen would not have had wit enough to think of these, nor be a smart  enough, skilled enough  writer  to weave them so seamlessly into the narrative, chose names and actions to fit the scenes? Of course she was. 

    "I do not write for dull Elves As have not a great deal of Ingenuity in themselves." wrote Jane Austen. 

She wrote that for a reason.  Or, if I am right about anagram puzzles 2 reasons!

     Further to these anagrams. It does not seem far fetched if I am right to propose that with this penchant for clever anagrams that Meryton has been created in a way not dissimilar to the way I suggest earlier. 


      I have not read everything by Jane Austen. To say the least, therefore it is possible that there are "Easter Eggs" that I have missed. It may well be that there are other "Easter Eggs " to be found elsewhere. How do these Easter eggs appear? 

I say that these anagrams from names that can be created using one of the 2 methods as described above are indeed Easter Eggs inserted by Jane Austen. But if not created by Jane Austen then they must have come into existence some other way that I cannot imagine.   There is no doubt in my mind that these are deliberate creations by Jane Austen but I need more.   I'm sure there are more,  must be more,  but where are they? 

Added January 12 2019 

     It has just occurred to me that that there is/maybe a serendipitous second Easter Egg within the name Darcy. An Easter Egg it maybe remembered I have suggested can be formed from the name Darcy by subtracting the letter D and the name Cary (Elwes's middle name) can be made from the letters that remain. But there is I think another one. Take away the letter D again and the letters that remain, in their order of appearance are, A R C Y. If these letters are pronounced as a word then the letter sounds for R and C are made, which are of course the initial letters for Robert Cary Elwes's Christian names. 

       I have spent much of 2018 looking for resemblances and commonalities between Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice according to the snippets of detail provided by Jane Austen and the real life individual Robert Cary Ewes. I have posed the question to myself  "In what way is the fictional man and the real man similar similar enough that Elwes may have been the original for Mr. Darcy.” 

       It seems to me that they have a lot in common, far more than mere chance could have provided. Far more than all the other candidates for the real Mr. Darcy can muster, put together.  So many small, yet precise details about Mr. Darcy apply to Robert Cary Elwes.  He was a plain Mister, intelligent, owned an estate in the north, owned another estate well within 10 miles of The Great North Road, only sibling a sister, worth 30,000,etc.  Jane Austen does like a small but precise detail.  Look at descriptions for Pemberley or Northanger Abbey.  But not only that: Robert Cary Elwes provides links to the real Colonel Fitzwilliam  a real Meryton, Longbourne, Thornton Lacey, Northanger Abbey; an answer to "why Jane Austen should write "sans peur et sans reproche" and as if that were insufficient, lastly 2 small clutches of unknown unsuspected Easter Eggs. Truth, runs the proverb is stranger than fiction. I could not possibly invent all this and nor when it comes to identifying the original Mr. Darcy has anyone come remotely close to what I have put forward. 

     The answer to the question   "In what way is the fictional man and the real man similar?"  that I have posed to myself is   Similar enough I think in just about everything that Elwes may have been the original for Mr. Darcy.  

Added 29 January 2019 

The Watsons


      I have very recently scanned through the fragment of the novel The Watsons.  A few chapters begun in 1803 and never finished due, so it is supposed and theorised, (there is no proof) to her father's death in 1805.  This may well be the case although 5 chapters does not seem a great deal to have produced in the best part of 2 years.  Be that as it may I read it just in case there was anything of interest that might relate to what I have written earlier and that was worth noting. 

     There are a lot of characters in these 5 chapters but 2 names stood out tall and proud.  The names of the married couple Jane and Robert Watson.  Jane and Robert!  Is this wishful thinking by Jane Austen?  Imaginary role reversal.  Could there be reasons other than the death of her father that this short work is unfinished. 

     Who prior to 2018 has found any possible significance in Jane Austen's choices for the names of the married couple Jane and Robert Watson.  When trying to find a significant reason for the choice of Christian names in The Watsons it is of course a statement of the obvious to point out that Jane Watson shares her first given Christian name with Jane Austen.  A heroine by the name of Jane is Christian name she has used before Jane Bennett  and Jane Fairfax.  But what significance could there be in the choice of the name Robert.  Why Robert?   Until now no significance has ever been suggested, so is it really just an insignificant coincidence Robert Watson shares his first given Christian name with Robert Cary Elwes the man I think was Mr. Darcy. 

        If I had been more familiar with Jane Austen's works I would have made this connection long ago, as I am sure those who know the fragment The Watsons and the existence of a married couple with the Christian names Robert and Jane almost certainly did. 

       Anyone more familiar with Jane Austen's works and in particular The Watsons who had conducted a search for a real place that Thornton Lacey could be based upon or who had searched by a "process of elimination" similar to the one described earlier would I think have immediately paused for thought on encountering the name Robert as in Robert Cary Elwes. 

Added February 21st 2019 

Another Juvenile Easter Egg 

       Worthless Louisa who left her husband child and reputation by running off with Danvers is not the only example of a young lady running off with a man (servant/Danvers) and from which a meaningful anagram that relates to the context of the passage in some way using a previously described method from the teenage Jane Austen's youthful writing can be found. 

     I have very recently discovered another instance from which also a contextually relevant anagram can be made. It is to be found in Frederic and Elfrida and concerns the Fitzroy family. The eldest daughter of Mrs. Fitzroy runs off with the coachman.  There are 4 anagrams that can be made by exchanging one letter for another from the name Fitzroy.  One of them stands out for its relevance to the context of the above scenario. It is certainly a word some would use to use to describe the feeling that could be inspired and experienced by this scenario.  Exchange the Z in Fitzroy for an M and the anagram MORTIFY can be made. 

Had I known of this Easter Egg when writing the recap about Easter Eggs I would certainly have included it.

Added 23 February 2019 

Mrs Ashton Dennis and Miss Jane Austin 

       Two more Easter Eggs that would have been included in the Recap about Easter Eggs had I realised their existence. 

       Mrs Ashton Dennis was the pseudonym that Jane Austen used when writing to the publisher Benjamin Crosby and Co enquiring with surprise that a ms. novel by her and bought by them has still not, 6 years later appeared in print and this despite a request and understanding that early publication would ensue.  She signs herself " I am gentleman &.&. April 5, 1809 M.A.D. " 

Could the initial letters M.A.D. be the only word play to be found I wondered.  Where exactly did the name Ashton Dennis originate, how was it created?  Why this name? It didn’t just appear.  Ashton as a name is, to say the least an uncommon name even at its most prolific. 

      I played around a little and came up with little of value.  So I tried with the way I propose that Easter Eggs are to be found.  I wondered what would materialise if I put Ashton Dennis into the Scrabble Word Finder.  It will only take 12 letter searches and so I could not use a question mark as a blank.  The result given the nature of the letter is extraordinary.  There are no 11 or 12 letter returns but there is one and only one 10 letter return.  It has a "wow " factor given the sentiments expressed in the letter and the later entry into the books history described at the back in the advertisement that appeared posthumously in which Jane Austen expresses her surprise "that any bookseller should think it worth while to purchase what he did not think it worth while to publish seems extraordinary.  This single 10 letter result could easily replace the initials M.A.D. as the real sentiment Jane Austen is expressing.  Hidden as it so brilliantly has been is..... 

          By removing an N from the name Ashton and an N from the name Dennis the only 10 letter word that can be made is ASTONISHED.  A word that expresses Jane Austen's feelings in this matter perfectly. 

       Astonished is a word according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus that Jane Austen uses 69 times


      On the 8 December 2020 I was rereading Pride and Prejudice again!  and realised I had missed something.  The word astonished is not the only word to be made easily from Ashton Dennis that could relate to the context of the letter.  I did not realise at the time because I had not at that time fully realised that many, many more sophisticated anagram puzzles also existed.  {See much more detailed  later, fuller  explanation and many many more using the same methodology as  the ones described above and below}  If the letters N and D from Ashton Dennis are exchanged for an M and T the word astonishment can be made.   

        There exists a royalty cheque made out to Jane Austen by her publisher John Murray in the name of Jane Austin. The back has been countersigned by Jane Austen with the same mistake an i in her surname instead of an e. Why would Jane Austen normally so precise and exact allow such a mistake not only to pass by but be repeated by her.  Is it? Can it be just a simple mistake? Her excitement at receiving the check and thus excusing him is a reason commonly cited as to why she also made the same mistake.  Is that though the real reason.  Could it perhaps be a deliberately induced mistake. 

Added 27 March 2019 

Jane Austen and Jane Austin

      There is a portrait watercolour painting owned by Dr. Paula Byrne author of a biography of Jane Austen " A Life in Small Things"  that may or may not be of Jane Austen. It’s certainly an intriguing portrait. On the back someone has written Miss Jane Austin using the same misspelling as on the check (see above).  The painter of this portrait is unknown and although the artist has some ability nobody is suggesting that the work is a masterpiece. Its value lies in whether it is, or is not a portrait of Jane Austen. This value is enhanced because there are so few known portraits of her and none from the time she became successful. 

So who did it? and if the portrait is of Jane Austen  Who wrote on the back the name Jane Austin and why was Austin spelt with an i?   A different Jane Austin for example.  A few tentative suggestions are offered.  Nobody really  knows.  So I would like to suggest an individual who I think it may have been.  It’s a woman well known to Jane Austen, with some talent at least for painting in watercolour.  There are other known portraits by her.  She has also painted members of the Austen family including a portrait of Jane Austen.  I wonder could it not be by Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen's sister. Although only an amateur she could paint quite well.  Could it have been Cassandra who wrote Jane Austin with the "i" misspelling on the back.  She was privy to most if not  all Jane Austen's secrets and if I am right about anagrams being found by exchanging one letter for another to create a relevant word or name would have been well aware of this word game employed by Jane Austen.  She was close enough and interested enough and capable of producing that picture with the "misspelt" title to the back and would have known the clue to Jane Austen that the misspelling held. 

     The idea for misspelling Austen Austin may not have been all Jane's own work.  Impetus may have been provided by her brother.  He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Bath in September 1815.  The London Gazette records this event with his name on 16th September 1815.  His entry appears as Captain Francis William Austin Royal Navy.  For it to be accepted as a portrait of Jane Austen it would be helpful to explain why the name Jane Austin has been misspelt with an i instead of an e.  Which my explanation does, along with explaining the use of the i spelling in her name on the bank check made out to her and countersigned by her and which would be another "Easter Egg" 

A further example of the misspelling of the name Austen has been found within the Austen family .  Today 4 March 2021 I have been reading  a JASNA article by C.Caplan   entitled  "Jane Austen's Banker Brother Henry Thomas Austen."  Essentially a brief  life of her banker brother Henry.  The particularly interesting excerpt from this article in this context of the spelling of the name Austin instead of Austen relate to his bankruptcy in 1817.   Below is the relevant portion of text from this article which spells Henry Austen's name three times  with an I and not an E.    I have underlined and italicised the  name AUSTIN   


 In the 1817 Report from the Select Committee upon the Mode of Issuing Extents in Aid the following dialogue is recorded:

Who was the receiver general for the county of Oxford? —

Mr. Henry Thomas Austin [sic]

An Extent in Chief was issued against him? —

It was. Was his property found sufficient to pay his debt to the Crown? — It was not.

Were his sureties obliged to make it good? —

They have not yet been called upon. It is possible the whole of the debt to the Crown, or near the whole, will be recovered without calling on the sureties....  The debt of Austin amounted to about £.40,000…the bank stopped before the Extent issued.… a calamity will be brought upon the customers of the bank, if there is not more than enough to satisfy the Crown debt.…

Would that have happened if you had properly inquired into the circumstances of Austin before he was employed as a receiver general? —

Inquiry was made; but…regard has not so much been had to the property of the receiver general. It is not exactly the property of the receiver general that qualifies him for that office, if he is in a condition to give the Crown satisfactory security.

(British Parliamentary Papers)

The Name Fitzwilliam 

    From whence did  the use of the name Fitzwilliam sprang I wondered. Its usage as a surname by Jane Austen may well as has been suggested to me have been derived  from the Earl of Fitzwilliam one of the very wealthiest landowners in the country.  I will concede Maybe.  But that does not explain its use as a first given Christian name. Most names that Jane Austen uses are names frequently met with in Jane Austen's time, Jane, Mary, Charlotte, Emma, Elizabeth, etc. Fitzwilliam though is a very unusual Cgristian name.  Whoever calls their child Fitzwilliam. Its a name that does convey the aristocratic arrogance and pride that a man like Darcy would have possessed, but where did the idea to use such a rare Christian name originate. 

      I may have an answer.  It was a serendipitous discovery made while casually looking for details about her brother Charles.  A woman very well known to both Charles and Jane Austen had it as her given middle name. Indeed 2 of this lady's children may, arguably have provided the names for 2 of Jane Austen's characters; Fanny from Mansfield Park and Harriet from Emma.  The woman I speak of was Charles's first wife one Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer who he married in 1807.  I would say that the usage of Fitzwilliam as a Christian name was very unusual.  Even more unusual to be used as a given name for a woman.  How very unusual to know someone with a given, albeit middle, Christian name of Fitzwilliam, but Jane Austen did actually know someone possessed of it and therefore must have had some awareness of its capacity to be used as a Christian name.  She would have heard it if nowhere else at the marriage ceremony between her brother Charles and this woman.  Priest to the groom (Charles Austen) "do you take Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer to be your wife... 

     Why would anyone be given such a middle Christian name.  Perhaps in recognition of the family links with the Earl of Fitzwilliam.  Quite possibly.  But there is an undeniable  argument for suggesting Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer as being in part at least the inspiration for the use of Fitzwilliam as a Christian name. 

Added August 2019 


      Mansfield as in Mansfield Park.  Readers to this point may remember my suggesting that there was a tenuous resemblance between Mansfield Park and Billing Hall, Elwes's residence in that Mansfield Park was a new build and to a large extent so was Billing Hall.  But the links may not end there. If one removes the S  from the name MANSFIELD then the anagram Fieldman can be found.  A word rarely if ever used now one of its meanings according to "Your Dictionary" is farmer or labourer.  Add an apostrophe to create the possessive noun and also the full anagram of Mansfield makes Fieldman's Park.  There is a trail that leads to Elwes.  Mansfield Park to Fieldman's Park to Farmer's Park to Sewell's Farm To Elwes's Farm.  Mansfield looks as if too could be an Easter Egg.  Why did Jane Austen use the name Mansfield in Mansfield Park.  The title of a book that incorporates a name is hardly a random choice carelessly decided upon.  Its true meaning may not be known.  But it would be a name for which the author will have given due consideration.  In Jane Austen's case.  Especially in Jane Austen's case!  Many a literary expert will state and agree that Jane Austen does not do things for nothing.  So what was the impetus, the motivation, for choosing the name Mansfield.  Surely not because it sounds nice, or she could not think of anything better,  or somebody else's idea.  Google offers little assistance when searching for a reason for the choice of the name Mansfield.  I think my proposal has an ingenious, but logical and simple to follow progression once one has the key name Elwes.  The simple logic I'm sure is no problem for those who enjoy cryptic crosswords or compiling them.  Fieldman's grounds? a literary estate for example.  Too easy I know.  From Elwes to Sewell to Fieldman's to Mansfield. 

There at first glance appear to be no plausible reasons for the choice of the name Mansfield in Mansfield Park. But there is now. 

If one reconsiders the Maddison /diamonds anagram earlier is this not a third type of  "Easter Egg" to be found  ie in this case  a direct anagram of one word for another.

*  I have long thought there is a satirical  element  in Mansfield Park and RCE.   In September 2021  I learnt of another very interesting link between the book Mansfield Park  and RCE.  In M.P.  Sir Thomas Bertram has to leave for an extended period to attend to his slave plantations on the small  ( 108 square miles) Carribbean island of Antigua.  I discovered that in circa 1727  RCE's grandmother on the Cary side of his family inherited slaves and plantations on the island of Antigua.  In 1730 she and her husband acquired the Egton Estate in North Yorkshire for 38,000 pounds.  It is thought that the sale of these slaves and plantations provided most if not all the money to buy this estate.  Her inheritance is corroborated by the will of her father but sadly there is no ownership or sale record of slaves and  plantations in Antigua by the Cary family according to the "Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery.  Clearly as Rachel Lang wrote Richard Cary is someone they have missed so far.  The CSLBS database has no records of any member of the Cary family ever owning slaves anywhere on Antigua.  In The History of Antigua by  Vere Lagford Oliver  is a genealogical table.   A name listed in this table is Cary.  I would not be at all surprised given the invidious practice of naming slaves after their owners if anyone on the island of Antigua in 1893  and their descendants can trace their history to the Cary family.

Added November 2019

A little More About Gracechurch Street 

 How did Jane Austen know enough about the real life existence of Gracechurch Street, a street in the business district of London to include it in Pride and Prejudice.  Enough to describe something of its character and flavour. She never went there.  A quick Google search gives no indication or explanation of how she knew of the existence of this specific street.  Of course, a quick answer is someone she knew, family, friends, etc. from here there and everywhere.  In which case where is the evidence that any of these likely people knew anything about Gracechurch Street.  It was just the sort of street where successful and prosperous business people like the Gardiners might well live above the shop down below.  But how did Jane Austen know anything Gracechurch Street and its location. What possessed her to write about and include Gracechurch Street.  Where did the information about its exact distance from Longbourn come from.  I think these are reasonable questions to ask and to date so far as I can ascertain there is no answer via Google at least or anywhere else. 

     However, if she knew of Robert Cary Elwes then there is maybe an answer for he definitely did know of Gracechurch Street and can be shown to have had business dealings of some sort in Gracechurch Street in the years of 1792 and 1793.  In the executor accounts produced by the executors of his father's will are 8 payments in the years 1792 and 1793 made on his behalf to Spinks and Co.  2 payments in 1792 are for 300 pounds each and the other for 100 pounds and in 1793 there are 3 payments for 200 pounds each, 1 payment for 100 pounds and a further payment of 50 pounds. Considerable sums especially the first two. 

      Some of these payments were made in winter December and January.  A time of year when London may have been at its filthiest.  No sewage system in London in those days to take human waste away and then there would be smoke and ash from the fires, horse shit in the roads and who knows what else. 

      Spinks and Co refers to the still existing and much respected coin dealers and auctioneers Spinks and Co. Begun in 1668 after the Great Fire of London they relocated in 1772 to No. 2 Gracechurch Street.  In 1772 they were coin and jewellery dealers.  I strongly suspect that Spinks and Co do not possess archives going back to the 1790's but they have been contacted just in case and I await an answer. 

     But Elwes did not just visit Gracechurch Street as the executor accounts show. He also spent a large sum of money at the very fine establishment of Rundell and Bridge, jewellers and goldsmiths in nearby Ludgate Hill. 

     Robert Cary Elwes undoubtedly knew of Gracechurch Street and presumably how to get there from his estate in Hertfordshire near Ware.  It’s not unreasonable to believe that he knew how far it was.  But how did Jane Austen know of a place close to Ware such a precise distance away.  What and from where did she know enough about Gracechurch Street to write "Mr. Darcy may perhaps have heard of Gracechurch Street but he would hardly think a months ablution enough to cleanse him from its impurities"  Although an exaggeration, to a countryman like Elwes reared on his array of extensive rural estates a day in Gracechurch Street may well have left him with the feeling for the need of ablutions.  All that dirt.  Horse shit, human waste, smoke and ash from fires in winter and more would be found in such a busy commercial street.  If she knew Elwes then the question as to where Jane Austen acquired any knowledge of Gracechurch Street, along with, please note, a multitude of other mysteries, unsatisfactorily answered if at all by conjecture, theory, supposition and plain guesswork has with one easy solution a more plausible source for its answer.  Mr. Robert Cary Elwes Esq. 

      One further coincidence needs to be added.  This is the first letter written by Edward Gardiner  from Gracechurch Street.  It is dated Monday  [second day of the week ] 2 Aug.  Why choose Monday the 2 of August.   The coincidence if there is one is that the address of Spinks in Gracechurch Street is Number 2.

Added November 2019 


       Rereading Pride and Prejudice yet again,  (its true the more you read it the more you see) on page 65 I came across "Fordyce's Sermons" (for Young Women) Mr Collins, initially invited to read from a work of fiction declines and chooses Fordyce's Sermons a work first published in 1766.  A work one can easily imagine Jane Austen's father reading or at least buying.  It's also easy to imagine perhaps that Jane Austen had a similar reaction to it as Lydia ie. Dull Dull Dull. 

     But when I saw the name Fordyce this time I thought that that was a name that might contain something of well hidden subliminal interest. An F, a Y, a C; these letters together are not the easiest of combinations to find an anagram using one or other of the anagram methods previously outlined. Which is how it proved. When removing one letter from Fordyce the Scrabble Word Finder produces only one word and exchanging one letter for another produces a few more anagrams but nothing so far as I could see relating to the text.  To make sure I checked the text a second time and as I read backgammon for the fourth time (Mr Collins leaves off reading aloud to a disinterested youthful audience and settles down to a game of backgammon with Mr. Bennett) I realised what the hidden interest was. A rather cleverly presented pun is to be found and which I feel was probably first created for the family audience of her early listeners to spot.  Those who know backgammon I expect have arrived at the same point or soon will but for those who know nothing about backgammon a brief explanation. 

The game of backgammon or something very close goes back a few thousand years. It was and  still is a very popular gambling game.  Simple to learn, exciting to play and unlike say chess a very skilled person because of the element of luck can sometimes lose to a beginner.  Its played on a board with 2 sets of counters these days usually white and either red or black and 2 pairs of dice, 1 pair white with black spots and 1 pair either red or black with white spots.  Today's sets also include a "doubling cube" which adds an extra dimension of skill to this ancient gambling game.  The doubling cube was introduced in the 1920's and therefore was unknown in Jane Austen's day. A basic set is very easy to produce.  But in previous days backgammon sets have been produced using valuable and exotic materials to create a luxury item.  Back in the 18th century, it’s quite possible that there were only 2 dice per set which may explain the use of the word backgammon twice.  So: 1 pair of dice plus another pair of dice added together or 2+2 equals FOUR DICE in total.  As a pun not the greatest but how ingeniously simple and so subtly concealed.  I sat back and pondered awhile.  Was this simple happenstance or intelligent design?  Jane Austen does not do things for nothing is an oft repeated assertion.  Jane Austen was a genius is another.  Or Jane Austen leaves things for the reader to work out.  Why not something else besides backgammon for Mr Collins and Mr. Bennett to play or do.  Why Fordyce's Sermons rather than the sermons of many another worthy clergyman who because of her father's occupation some of which she almost certainly new.  For the wordplay pun  nothing else will do.  Jane Austen was a genius who liked puns, riddles, puzzles, anagrams as her work and letters show etc.  I think it far more likely that this is the intelligent design of an accepted genius rather than a casual unplanned coincidence.  In fact so artfully concealed within plain view do I find it that to propose that it is happenstance is just absurd.  To those who would say "this is just happenstance " show me similar and as clever from other authors or even another author singular.  Add this to everything else I say I have discovered.  The one thing I am not sure about is the use of the word backgammon twice.  Is it because boards and sets only came with 2 dice rather than 4 dice as nowadays and therefore as a clue the word backgammon needed to be stated twice, or is the double usage of the word backgammon a clue word for the purposes of emphasis.  From over 200 years ago I say this is another hidden, delicious Easter Egg that has just been found.  Are there others of this special vintage ? 

     N.B   Pretty much any 19th century literary expert will with an interest in Jane Austen , I'm sure, agree that Jane Austen was a genius who did things for good reason and not for nothing.

Sir Lewis de Bourgh 

      When I first came across the surname Bourgh I had quickly thought of exchanging the R for a T to make the word Bought and thus another Easter Egg but until the other day I missed the opportunity to include it with the other examples of anagram wordplay. 

Below is the relevant slice of text from Chapter 29 

     "As the weather was fine, they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across the park. Every park has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. Collins expected the scene to inspire, and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the windows in front of the house, and his relation of what the glazing altogether had originally cost Sir Lewis De Bourgh." 

     Substitute COST for the phrase "been BOUGHT by." 

    Why mention the a) glazing and b) its cost. This small piece of text could easily have been excluded as an irrelevance in an abridged edition for example, but of course it is utterly indispensable if I am right about the anagram wordplay to be found throughout Jane Austen's work. 

      Has this little snippet about the glazing at Rosings been included for no real purpose?  A little peripheral detail toadd colour and flavour.   Plot wise etc it adds nothing.  Does Jane Austen do things for nothing? Experts say not.  




After writing the above about the surname Bourgh it occurred to me to check again how often Jane Austen uses puns in her work.  I could not remember any.  Until 2017 it would appear that she used a pun in her work only once.  So if I am right about the anagram that can be found from the name Bourgh by deleting the R and thus making from Bourgh the word Bough and thence to the pun Bow would be one new example of a pun to be found. But also there is now the name Fordyce and the pun that can be found as explained above Four Dice must be included.  In 2017 only 1 pun is to be found.  In 2018 one more pun is found and then in 2019 another pun is found. In 200 years one pun is found and then within 2 years 2 come along almost together.  Where once was only one now is three! Are there others I again ask myself. I bet there are, but will I have the wit to find them. 

"Colonel Millar's" (Pride and Prejudice) 

      Colonel Millar makes but one appearance. This is when Mrs Bennett is reminiscing about her own youthful days 25 years ago when Colonel Millar's regiment went away and she thought she would break her own heart. Her 2 daughters are experiencing much misery at the imminent departure of the ---- shire regiment. 

      I checked the name Millar in the Scrabble Word Finder for the possibility of a meaningful anagram being uncovered. There were none. But even I could see without SWF's help that if the L in Millar's was changed for an I then the word SIMILAR could be made and what an apt and appropriate word that is to be able to make in relation to the text . The sentence preceding Colonel Millar's entry and the sentence introducing Colonel Millar's entry are quoted below with the one especially apt and appropriate word in capitals. 

Their affectionate mother shared all their grief; 

     “she remembered what she had herself endured on a SIMILAR occasion, five and twenty years ago. 

"I am sure," said she, "cried for two days together when Colonel Millar's regiment went away. I thought I should have broke my heart." 

     In common with Reynolds / Splendor, Millar's/Similar the anagram is found by substituting one letter for another and the anagram that is to be found is the exact word appearing shortly before the name itself. 

      It’s possible that there will be objections to the use of the apostrophe S in forming this anagram. But to those who object to the use of the apostrophe s  the rules of these puzzles are not yours but JA's. 

       William Goulding and the Gouldings (Pride and Prejudice) A few pages after Colonel Millar I came across William Goulding and the Gouldings.  The first mention of "the Gouldings is in regard to Haye Park "if the Gouldings would quit it" William Goulding is met when  Lydia recounting, how she overtook WG and showed him her marriage ring from the side glass. The second mention of the Gouldings is a few pages later. Mrs. Bennet is determining who will dine and is saying who she must invite to dine and includes Mrs Long and the Gouldings. The Gouldings say nothing, do nothing, affect the plot in no way. They arrive and they go. Why are they there? 

     The anagram possibilities did not look good to me but even so more out of habit and hope rather than expectation I typed their name in with a question mark. But lo! I was in for a welcome surprise. There are eleven 8 letter word results with one absolute stand out anagram to be made. Exchange the G for a B and the anagram DOUBLING can be made. 

This anagram although written earlier rather reminds me of the GILBERTS /TREBLING anagram mentioned earlier.


In my list of "definites", I would have included the 3 above. 

Haye Park (Pride and Prejudice) 

    I hesitated before including Haye Park. Haye Park is one of the possible residencies that Mrs Bennet considers for her daughter. Exchange the Y in Haye for an S and the name Ashe Park can be made. A residence well known to Jane Austen. She mentions it and its tenant James Holder and relates in a letter an occasion where she finds herself on her own by mistake with James Holder and has her hand on the door handle (ready to leave in an instant) 

      I include it because in my research I came across an article about Ashe Park which suggested that part of P and P may have been written there. I cannot to date find the source for this claim. But 2 points. 

     Firstly: Lizzie walks across the fields a distance of 3 miles to be with Jane who is taken ill. Is Ashe Park 

about 3 miles away across the fields from Steventon Rectory Jane Austen's home? 

     Secondly: A theory. Ashe Park was tenanted by James Holder a man with land and slaves in the West Indies. Suppose that he took a business trip there. In those days this would mean a lengthy absence from Ashe Park. Would Ashe Park be left to stand empty for a period of many months minimum or might it be tenanted for this period of absence.  And if it was tenanted would its availability to be tenanted have come about by an "accidental recommendation" and who was it tenanted by. 

This is just a theory. At some time I will look for William Portal's bank records for 1795/6 the owner and landlord of Ashe Park. It’s possible they exist and if they do still exist then who knows.?

Mr. Manager (Mansfield Park) 

       Strictly speaking, in chronological discovery terms Mr. Manager should have been explained after Captain Marshall below, but I liked the idea of ending 2019 with a stunning climax rather than the anti-climax that would result with Mr. Manager being explained after rather than before Captain Marshall. 

     I cannot remember JA referring to any major character other than by their rightful Christian or surname when known. On the basis that it is the only time she did this it seemed highly likely that Manager could be significant and manipulated to form a relevant anagram. Having said that I can see with little effort that exchanging one letter of manager for another could produce many search results in the SWF.  Altogether 37 words of 7 letters can be made by exchanging one letter for another. Among these words is 1 strikingly appropriate word for this particular context and that is ANAGRAM!!!  How funny is that. 

Captain Marshall (Mansfield Park) 

Captain Marshall

Having read Pride and Prejudice yet again and found some more anagram puzzles I thought I really would have to read Mansfield Park again just in case more were also to be found within. Especially having also found that Mansfield makes the anagram Fieldman's.  So with reluctance, I began again.  I could see nothing of great interest until I reached Captain Marshall and the following quote.   " Do you know anything of my cousin's captain?" said Edmund, " Captain Marshall? You have a large acquaintance in the navy I conclude? " 

       I remembered before, vaguely looking at the name Marshall. It looked rather unpromising then and did so today for my purposes. Nevertheless I entered a question mark and the name Marshall into the Scrabble Word Finder and clicked "FIND WORDS" 

      There were no 9 letter words returned and only 5 words of 8 letters; MARSHALL, MARSHALS MALLARDS HALLMARKS and ARMILLAS. I rejected the first 2 because they are far too close to the name Marshall. The second two were also swiftly rejected as being of no relevance and I almost rejected the fifth result having no idea what armillas were. But on checking the meaning I found I did know what they looked like even if I did not know the word . An alternative name for an armilla is armillary sphere and I remembered years ago selling a framed 18th century engraving taken from a book illustrating an armillary sphere. Armillas in their original Latin meaning are bracelets or circles and around a globe are rings positioned for example to show the equator or the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.  Thus derives the name Armillary Sphere.  Some armillary spheres fetch huge sums of money at auctioneers such as Christies, Bonhams or Sothebys * 

     With rather more interest I began again to read through the chapter looking for anything that might relate to bracelets or a circle or a ring or a naval association.  Nothing was found before and including Captain Marshall in the paragraph in italics above. But shortly after there is firstly the mention of the "navy" followed by.... 

       The second word of the following sentence which stopped me dead in my tracks. Surely not I thought. Is that really it!? I'm pretty excited at this point. I entered a question mark and then the 8 letters of the 2nd word of the next sentence ADMIRALS and clicked find words. There is one 9 letter result of no interest in this context. There are quite a few 8 letter results and 

                                                                                   A R M I L L A S ! ! ! 

is one of them.  I stared in disbelief for a second or two and then repeated the whole exercise to make sure I had made no mistake, and then again to make absolutely sure.  No mistake 

     Wow!  Just how clever is that?  Dazzling and devious in its creative ingenuity.  I would say that this is a 4th type of  Easter Egg. The same anagram to be found from 2 different words, the same result forwards and backwards. Although similar in the need to find a meaningful anagram from a name in the first instance, to be able to find that same anagram using that same methodology in a related word in the next sentence I think takes the puzzle making to a new level. 

      Are there any more like this? If so, will I be able to find any of them? I confess to being absolutely delighted to have found this anagram. 

     How can this anagram, at once simple and complex in structure and execution possibly be anything other than the result of the deliberate creative genius that was Jane Austen.  I mean HOW!

     It’s the day before New Years Eve 2019 and as I ponder this anagram and just how brilliant it is, a tempting thought occurs to me. In the text immediately following Captain Marshall is the only pun up until 2017 to have been found in JA's work. JA read to family members some of whom I am sure knew about these anagram puzzles. Is it possible I wonder that the reason for this pun being located here is to provide a diversion or smokescreen to cover the existence of this special anagram puzzle, and that maybe it worked and that I am the first person to uncover this anagram since JA first created it.  What a connection.  How spooky is that!  Do I kid myself?  Perhaps, but also, perhaps not.

The Text Relevant to Captain Marshall.

Note as well  the use of  the word admirals 3 times in one paragraph .  The word admirals according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus was used on 5 occasions.   Below is the text 


"Do you know anything of my cousin's captain?" said Edmund; "Captain Marshall? You have a large acquaintance in the navy, I conclude?"

"Among admirals, large enough; but," with an air of grandeur, "we know very little of the inferior ranks. Post-captains may be very good sort of men, but they do not belong to us. Of various admirals I could tell you a great deal: of them and their flags, and the gradation of their pay, and their bickerings and jealousies. But, in general, I can assure you that they are all passed over, and all very ill used. Certainly, my home at my uncle's brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. 

      * A major use for an armillary sphere was as a navigational aid. With it and knowledge of star positions one could determine exactly where on the sea one was. It seems ridiculously unlikely that neither of Jane Austen's brothers Francis and Charles did not know of an armillary sphere and quite likely possessed their own personal armillary spheres  or ARMILLAS as they are also known 

Thornton Lacey (Mansfield Park) 

     2 further reasons for thinking that the village of Thornton Lacey could have been discovered have  been found. We learn from Sir Thomas that whilst Edmund's leaving Mansfield Park will be a contraction of the family circle it is "though only eight miles" 

Wherever Mansfield Park Northampton is, it is only eight miles away from Thornton Lacey. If  3 circles had been drawn around the centre of Northampton of six, eight and 10 miles radius so as to cover all possibilities in terms of distance from any part of Northampton, the village of Great Billing where Robert Cary Elwes lived would have been contained within it.  There is an old church known as St. Peters Northampton which according to an internet distance chart is 8 miles away from Great Billing. 

Had anyone looked seriously for a village that could have been Thornton Lacey and was remotely close to 8 miles away from Northampton the search would by looking within the circle have been narrowed down considerably from the 280 odd villages in Northamptonshire to a far lower figure and hence much easier to find if looked for. I am a little surprised that no-one made the effort to look. After all, much effort has been expended upon the possible location of Meryton on the basis of its being 24 miles from Gracechurch Street and therefore perhaps findable.  It begs the question why not look for Thornton Lacey on the same basis.



We learn from Henry Crawford who hopes that the parsonage at Thornton Lacey "is not a scrambling collection of low single rooms, with as many roofs as windows "  and that " it is not cramped into the vulgar compactness of a square farmhouse  " but that according to him it is a  "it is a solid, roomy,  mansion - like looking house ".  The vicarage at Great Billing is definitely a lot like that - at 3 storeys high and in excess of 125 years old  it is a substantial property with a very good sized garden and easily fits with the description of the Old Parsonage of Thornton Lacey.  An idea of what the Old Rectory; or The Old Rectory as it is termed in real life is like can be seen if one Googles the Old Rectory Great Billing.  It was for sale a while ago with an estate agent by the name of Michael Graham.  


On my way to  Diss auction rooms I used to pass close to the villages of Thorndon Parva and Thorndon Magna.  The sound of Thorndon is close to the sound of Thornton.  Out of curiosity I decided to look at what villages there were with Thornton in their name at  the beginning.  One village in Yorkshire stood out a little higher than the others.   By deleting an L  from the village of Thornton Le Clay an anagram can be found to create the village Thornton Lacey.  Just a thought.


The Gregorys (Mansfield Park) 

Remarkable as I thought the anagram puzzle of Marshall to Armillas to Admirals was, I had no real expectation of anything as good anytime soon. But the Gregorys provided an anagram puzzle even more extraordinary a few pages later. Below is the relevant passage. It was extraordinary because not only is it a double anagram puzzle  but also there is within another (this time) sublimely well disguised pun. The 4th to be found. 

     "You remember the Gregorys; they are grown up amazing fine girls, but they will hardly speak to me, because Lucy is courted by a lieutenant." 

      As a source for anagrams that are not so easy to find the Gregorys looked like a prime candidate for producing very few and thus well worth a careful look. The Gregorys like so many others are characters who say nothing, do nothing, and are discarded almost as they are introduced. As is now habitual I looked at the text just before their arrival and just after looking for something that could connect. I read that William asks Fanny if she remembers the Gregorys. He describes them as having grown up "amazing fine girls"  A single word to describe them could be GORGEOUS. An anagram to be made from the Gregorys is, if one removes the Y would be the pun GORGERS. But that is not all, because from the plural Gregorys William then moves on the singular Lucy surname not given!  find it and realise it yourself   ( Gregory.}  An exchange of the Y for an S from the name Gregory  and the word GORGERS can again be made. 

      Again I have the spooky feeling that I, maybe the first person since Jane Austen created this to have realised this anagram pun. I think it is another "Easter Egg" and it is also the third new pun that I have found. It’s also the 4th occasion where a name can be used to create an anagram using either formula exchange a letter or delete a letter but in this instance the same anagram is made. A variation on a theme. 

Baddeley Again (Mansfield Park) 

      Baddeley it maybe remembered supplied the earlier relevant anagram to the text of DELAYED by removing the B from the name Baddeley  (see Chapter 35 of Mansfield Park)  and mention must again be made of Baddeley.  I have been guilty of not reading the text with complete attention again and thus I have missed an important repeat of Baddeley and the anagram DELAYED.  Below is the relevant text 

"and long thinking strangely DELAYED . 

The solemn procession, headed by BADDELEY" 

      How did I miss this first time around. Never mind I have now found it. Mention must be made of the similarity in composition of this anagram where the anagram precedes the name. Created using almost the same format arrangement are Splendor/ Reynolds and Similar /Millar's the difference being that these 2 are created by exchanging one letter in the name for another instead of deleting 1 letter.  Such a similar pattern of  repetition makes coincidence impossible!  This will not be the last time.  

Mr. Owen and the Miss Owens (Mansfield Park) 

      I almost did not mention Mr. Owen. However I feel it is worth pointing out that by deleting the letter E the word now and by deleting the letter O the word new can be made.  Both can be made effortlessly. By exchanging a letter for another in this instance produces many possibilities.  But  I must   point out that both the words now and new are used in close proximity to the name Owen and especially note the word NOW is written in italics. 

       Much more interesting are the 3 (plural) Miss Owens. The plural for the noun woman is women, an easy to spot anagram made by exchanging S for an M. Is it possible that Jane Austen meant this as an anagram to be found and provided clues . Below is the relevant passage It contains many clues that WOMEN is the answer to be found and finally the word WOMEN itself 

"The Miss Owens (women)—you liked them, did not you?  Yes, very well. Pleasant, good–humoured, unaffected girls (women). But I am spoilt, Fanny, for common female society (women). Good–humoured, unaffected girls (women) will not do for a man who has been used to sensible   WOMEN."

      A slightly different variation on a theme, not only, in that the anagram comes after the name but also a number of hints.  Another alongside Reynolds, Millar's, Baddeley again  and now Owens. 

Mr. Harding (Mansfield Park) 

       Mr. Harding is a name from which many anagrams look possible to create by either method. But there is one which looks meant to be found and that is the word hearing. The word hearing appears in the text soon after Sir Thomas receives a letter from an old friend in London; at this point we are not told at this point who this friend is but we are told that he writes "on hearing and witnessing " We learn midway into the next paragraph his name when it is given in brackets after the pronoun him. Mr. Rushworth had been in great distress and to him (Mr. Harding) True there is more text between the anagram to be found and the name but it follows the same format as Reynolds, Millar's, and Baddeley  in being given shortly before the name and is created in the same way ie. exchanging one letter for another as Reynolds and Millars. 

       Randomness does not generate identifiable regular patterns, but intelligent design can and does. 

Added December 2019 / January 2020

    Tom Lefroy and "our Irish friend"

      Recently I have had a little look at Tom Lefroy  and the possibility of a romance between him and JA.  In a letter to her sister Cassandra JA says that she expects to receive an offer from "our Irish friend."   Based upon the fact mainly that Tom Lefroy was Irish and knew JA  much has been written and inferred about the possibility of some kind of romance between the two of them.   Tom himself has little to say, certainly not going as far as to admitting to such a fact as proposing and being turned down. 


      Is it possible though that "our Irish friend " could refer to someone else known to both JA and her sister but not necessarily  anyone else by the term "our Irish Friend" .  The use of the word "our"  suggests at least the possibility of something personal to just JA and her sister.  Tom Lefroy and his Irishness was known to all in the area and not just JA and her sister.  

         So I have pondered whether JA could be referring in a coded way to someone else, for example  Robert Cary Elwes.  For there to be any chance of it to be him  or anyone else for that matter some  strong Irish connection/s would need to be demonstrated.  If none were to be found it might not totally invalidate the case I am making for RCE to be the original for Mr. Darcy but it does no favours to the cause. 

But what if there were connections, slim connections for example, or better still significant and substantial connections    

If none can be demonstrated or found then quite possibly JA is referring to someone else,  but as I say what about if RCE does have strong Irish connections?...  

         So let me explain as briefly as I can .

         This research piece about Jane Austen came into being following  a lot of earlier research into a 250 page part illustrated  manuscript*  I bought 4 years ago  that was written in 1863 by Robert Cary Elwes's youngest son Francis Emilius Cary Elwes.

        I say manuscript.  In fact it is 3 perhaps 4 manuscripts in one. 

Firstly :   A day to day diary from January 1863 to September 1863.  It is a brief record of his daily doings, who he meets, where he goes, what he does etc.  Of principal interest initially for me were diary entries detailing several meetings with a man by the name of John Wisden always referred to in the diary as Wisden.

          John Wisden today is  probably the most famous sportsman in the world from the Victorian era.  He was a cricketer,  a very good one too but his fame rests not upon his deeds on the cricket field  good as they undeniably were, but upon a publication known as Wisden's Almanack;  initially known for its first few years as The Sportsman's Handbook,  first published in 1864 and published yearly ever since.  Over the years it has massively expanded  from the 112 pages of the 1st edition particularly with the addition of cricket match reports and statistical information.  It is now  a record of anything to do with first class cricket and to a lesser extent schools cricket.  (that is to say top public Schools cricket  ie Eton, Harrow etc) It has been  known colloquially as "The Cricketers Bible" since the 1930's after a phrase coined by author Alec Waugh.


Secondly:  A charmingly illustrated and very well written  small game (partridges, pheasants, rabbits etc) shooting diary for the  season  November 1862 - January 1863 that took place mainly on the Egton Estate in Yorkshire, one of Robert Cary  Elwes 's estates and inherited by his eldest son, but also on a few estates further South in Suffolk that were also owned by members of the Elwes family.  In my opinion it is quite an important  document of social historical interest in its own right. There are, I am sure  many well written  shooting accounts, and  some maybe even better illustrated but few if any contain the detailed statistical minutae that this one includes.  It is I think superlative....

Thirdly  There is a large collection of sporting reports for the spring and summer for the year 1863.  There are reports for Rowing, Rackets, Horse Racing, Boxing and most importantly for those who know cricket, Cricket.  A few comparisons with the cricket reports in the newspapers of the day show that these cricket reports have not been simply copied but compiled in such a way that leaves little room for doubt to those familiar with Wisden cricket reports that Wisden and or his editor textually and stylistically copied these very reports when they introduced match reports from the late 1860's.   Indeed it was whilst trying to get to grips with what I had bought that after reading a few reports  and knowing Wisden reports from Wisdens that I had owned that I thought to myself "These are Wisden reports."  the only problem being that whomever they were by they most certainly were not by Wisden. 

Fourthly:  A significant number of missing pages scattered throughout the text that in no way impact upon the other 3.  The general neatness of writing,  the calligraphy used and the lack of mistakes throughout except nearer the end when the author was becoming more seriously ill with what 4 years later would kill him syphilis (his medical records from Ticehurst Asylum for the last few years of his life also survive as well as his banking records from Goslings ),  leads me to conclude that there was almost certainly a fourth text.

       Renowned all over the cricketing world as Wisden's Almanack now is the 1 st edition of 1864  is a very odd, even bizarre publication.   For sporting material what cricket there is very poor in content and mixed in with the cricket  there is a list of the winners of the Epsom Derby, the St. Ledger and the  Oaks horse races and a table showing the winners of the University Rowing Matches (Oxford v Cambridge) as well, but there is also all sorts of other stuff the inclusion of which is quite baffling.  There is a list of the major societies in the U.K. a list of the lengths of the canals of Britain,  a list of the dates of the Crusades, and the War of the Roses random factoids  and ending with an account from an obvious royalist of the trial and execution of King Charles the 1st and then there is   Almanack section itself with its strange, even baffling inclusions.

 A 1st edition of Wisden 1864 is a rare and valuable item selling for about 15,000 pounds give or take a few thousand for condition and sometimes previous ownership.  But among those who know the 1st edition and until fairly recently I did not there had been considerable speculation as to whether  it was in fact all Wisden's own work.  But until recently nothing to show that it was not all Wisden's own work.

      I contacted a Wisden expert by the name of Stephen Baldwin who was independently contacted by the publisher's of Wisden to have a look at this manuscript and give an opinion.  In his report, a copy of which I have he said that it was undoubtedly in part at least the "original source manuscript".   After more research, I was able to provide 2 absolute proofs of copying to the criminal law requirements of "beyond reasonable doubt" and much more supporting evidence of copying by Wisden.


    I spent a lot of time and did a lot of research into this man's family and background as I tried to unravel the mystery this manuscript presented.  I knew that some of the entries in the Almanack for sure related to the author and his life because there were references repeated in the manuscript and I therefore suspected that the reason for the inclusion of so much odd stuff related in some way to this man his life, family, and friends and this manuscript.

       It was this research that brought me to the knowledge that the author's father had inherited hugely as a young child and in a moment of idle speculation that he might be the original  Young, single man, possessed of 10, 000 a year ie. Mr.Darcy.

      I looked into his ancestors, hunting for anything conceivably related to the Almanack . Beginning with the surname Elwes.    Its howIi learned that for example that considerable wealth had accompanied the Elwes family for 200 years or more or that  the gift of the living in Great Amwell near Ware had been in their power for 200 years and they had long been associated with the estate at Throcking a few miles outside Ware. 

     I learnt about RCE's grandmother. A lady  descended the Cary family and hence his middle name Cary. The Cary family could trace its exotic  aristocratic roots  several centuries further back and the name Cary is mentioned in the Domesday book  as a settlement by the name Cary in Somerset.  The name seems to first appear in records with a Alice de Cary married to a Lord Henry Lovel and a son born in 1169 and known as Adam De Karri and Adam  of Devonshire.  Going back that far with such pedigree there could easily have been ancestral knights  who fought in the Crusades.   More recently at the Battle of Tewkesbury during the War of the Roses Sir William Cary of Clovelly and Cockington  was one of those who sought sanctuary in Tewksbury Cathedral and was  beheaded in the massacre after the Battle of Tewkesbury.

        More pertinent to the  argument that RCE has irish connections are  the branches of the Cary family.  Going back several centuries there appear to be 4.   Somerset and around Bristol,  Clovelly in North Devon and Cockington in South Devon and finally.... Ireland.

The first association with Ireland begins in the late 14th century with Sir John Cary who was banished and died in exile at Waterford in  1395. 

The Wikipedia entry for the Cary's in Ireland is below    

Georg Cary (1589-1640), a grandson of Robert Cary (died 1586)[60], was one of the first aldermen of the city of Derry in 1613 and was appointed, in the same year, Recorder of Derry[60]. He was Member of Parliament for County Londonderry in the Parliament of Ireland from 1615-1640. He married Jane Beresford, sister of Sir Tristram Beresford, 1st Baronet, in 1615, with whom he had many children. His daughter, Elizabeth, married George Hart, a son of Captain Henry Hart, with whom she was the progenitor of the Hart family of Kilderry House, Glenalla House and Carrablagh House in Donegal.

The Cary family remained landlords in Inishowen until losing their property after the passage of the Irish Land Act in 1882. The Anglo-Irish writer Joyce Cary was a descendant of this branch of the Cary family.

A google search can, for those interested, show much more about the Cary family in Ireland including part of a text of work entitled "The Cary Family of Innishowen " by Lionel Stevenson a cousin of the Anglo-Irish author Joyce Cary.  For a little more  background information about the history of the Cary family its a useful guide.   

And thus does Robert Cary Elwes have strong  Irish connections.  From the 21st century these connections are a long way back but in the 18th century and in the days of limited travel I think it likely that a man with as few very close  relatives as RCE had would have known about his Irish roots that he had via his grandmother.  Later events in the family also indicate the probability of these connections being maintained.  One of his sons Richard married a woman by the name  Selina Jephson of Limerick whilst one of his granddaughters Eleanora Caroline married Charles Fitzgerald from Kilkee, County Clare,  Ireland, a one time Governor Of Western Australia.

The name Darcy  as explained earlier is easily made from Cary simply by adding a D and rearranging the letters.  But as an addenda, Darcy is also a fairly common Irish name. So why could Elwes not be the  unknown "our Irish friend"

Mrs. Smallridge

Mrs. Smallridge is a lady friend of the Bragges and the Sucklings who has the job of a governess available for Jane Fairfax.  Jane however becomes ill and is unable to take up this offer immediately.  Her illness continues longer than expected for some reason and Emma for one thinks she may not actually be ill. She MALINGERS?  By removing an L and exchanging the D for an N the word Malingers can be found from the name Smallridge.  This is a still simple enough  in concept anagram puzzle but, A little harder to realise,  a little more complicated and a little more  difficult to find.  

        On finding this I then thought of Ashton Dennis/Astonished, also a simple enough in concept anagram puzzle to understand  but not therefore easy to find and wondered whether there might be others in excess of 8 letters.  For example Sheringham in Norfolk at first glance is very very close to Everingham in the book. Replace the letters S and H with E and V and viola.  What about Sotherton Mr. Rushworth's estate or Mr. Rushworth himself.  Were these names   that might also have a slightly more complicated source to be found somewhere in the text I wondered.  

Mansfield Park and Sotherton, Mr. Rushworth, Anderson, Sneyd, Norris, Compton, and  Smith and Holford 

The above names and places have been included together under 1 heading rather than separately because the answers for these, were all discovered within a very short time period  of each other bar a modest amount of research whilst searching for clues about Sotherton.

Sotherton Court first appears in chapter 6 however I thought it better to begin with the chapter where its owner Mr. Rushworth makes his first appearance in chapter 4.

Anderson,  Chapter  5  Paragraph 37 

Anderson spelt with the son ending rather than sen, an important distinction to make.  A discussion is taking place between Edmund and Miss Crawford  that concerns a certain Miss Anderson and whether she is "in" or "out".  A little after Miss Anderson's first mention of the mother of Miss Anderson although not directly named  (And! Her!  Son!!!)     Charles  appears.

Mrs.Holford.  Chapter 5  same paragraph.

Holford is a name for which I can find no anagram puzzle but I feel it should be mentioned because there is a very  real  connection between Jane Austen and a  Mrs. Margaret Holford.  Pride and Prejudice was originally called First Impressions but this title had to be changed because of a work entitled "First Impressions"  by Margaret Holford that was published a few years earlier.  Are we not being told of the "first impressions " that Edmund had of Miss Anderson before meeting her again at Mrs. Holford's! 

Sneyd  Chapter 5  Paragraph 42

To begin  I had looked for the word deny or some kind of relationship with denial and hoped something similar to   Captain Denny and denial would be found.  Nothing like that.  But this time I found the anagram puzzle to be found by exchanging the Y for an I  with the clue phrase "does she dine out everywhere followed by in the next sentence the phrase "and dines nowhere "


 Mrs Norris/ Prison    Chapter 6  paragraphs 2 and 3


Prison is a word according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus that is used on 5 occasions by Jane Austen.  It is used on 3 of those occasions in the next short conversation extract.

I (Mr. Rushworth) declare when I got back from Sotherton yesterday, it looked like a PRISON - quite a dismal PRISON."

"Oh! for shame" cried Mrs. NORRIS.  A PRISON indeed!   Change the P in prison  for an R and there easy enough is the name Norris.  There is the anagram before, the name Norris  after the name Norris and then for good measure a third time.  How, when I am supposed to be looking for just this sort of thing  did I miss it.  I had long thought there ought to be an anagram for Mrs. Norris I just had not thought that it might be anywhere else but the point where she is first introduced.  

Sotherton   Chapter 6  Paragraph 17 


 This is just brilliantly ingenious.  It is still an anagram puzzle but it has to be looked for carefully so well hidden is it.  It is still necessary to exchange one letter but in this instance it is one letter from 2 words close together; a definite forerunner of a cryptic crossword clue.   Mr Rushworth wishes to speak of Sotherton and what can be done about it.  Employing  Humphrey Repton a well known improver of his day is suggested by Julia whose employment rates as Jane Austen would  appear to know were  5 guineas a day.  We learn about Smith and what has been achieved at Compton by Repton and we hear ideas and related chit chat from the guests around the dining table.  After half a dozen or more mentions of Sotherton the key phrase with the key words appears.    

The key phrase and its 2 key words are "which makes me think that Repton, or anybody of that sort"  

If either the  the E or R is deleted from the name REPTON and the other exchanged for an H the name SOTHERTON can be made.  Or perhaps delete or exchange the R from Sort for an H instead ie. one letter either deleted or exchanged from each of the 2 words to be used.  Does this seem too obscure. Well coming up is another cryptic anagram puzzle from which the name RUSHWORTH can be made.

Rushworth  Chapter  6  Paragraph 58 


The discussions   among the group about Sotherton continue.  Mrs. Grant suggests " it was infinitely better to consult with friends and disinterested advisors,           THAN IMMEDIATELY TO THROW     the business into the hands of a professional man."

To do something immediately could be to RUSH and add this to an anagram of THROW ie. WORTH gives the name RUSHWORTH.  I found no other anagram possibility for Rushworth.

The basis for a crossword clue perhaps    Literary character advised to consult rather "than immediately to throw."

Compton and  Smith  and Humphrey Repton  Chapter   6  paragraph 2

Humphrey  Repton throughout the late 18th and early 19th century was one of the most renowned garden designers of his day.  He would undertake landscape improvement commissions from  which he produced what today is known as a "Red Book" so called because it was bound in red morocco leather.  This book would contain his handwritten ideas plus delightful before and after watercolours of the areas to be improved.  The after was revealed by lifting a folding flap beneath  which was  a watercolour of the before.  Repton produced some 400 of these "Red Books" although sadly many of these beautiful productions  have been lost.  Occasionally they appear at auction.  In 2018 two  appeared at Christies auction room and made in excess of 100,000 dollars  each.  Also in 2018 an example of a Red Book was brought  along to a U.K. Antiques Roadshow venue where it was valued by expert Rupert Powell at between  60 and 80 thousand pounds.   Footage of this valuation is to be found on the internet. 

Smith the owner of Compton that Mr Rushworth cites des not seem the sort of name that Jane Austen might have chosen to  associate with a country house  and does beg  the question Why the name  Smith? 


Repton produced "Red Books" for 3 "Comptons"  Compton Verney,  Compton Place and Compton Park. 

Jane Austen certainly knew something of Humphrey Repton.  But how much and from where?      

Compton Verney is thought by some to be the original location for Thornton Lacey.  Call me biased but I found the case made for it being the original for Thornton Lacey without going into detail to be thin to say the least.  Could Jane Austen have easily known of Compton Verney.  Its not impossible.  A daughter of its owner John Peyto 6th Baron Willoughby De Broke the honourable Louisa Peyto was married  at Compton Verney to a Senior Prebendary at Winchester Cathedral who must certainly have been known to her father if not directly to her.  His name was Reverend Robert Barnard, a man met with before and a member of the family who as was described earlier and for many reasons, absolutely must have known and known well Robert Cary Elwes.

Compton Place Eastbourne also belonged to a man who almost certainly knew RCE and who we have also met with earlier  Colonel George Cavendish of the Derby Militia and a son of the Duke of Devonshire.  Repton produced a Red  Book for Colonel George Cavendish in 1803 but his design ideas were not carried out.

Compton Park near Chichester.  No close connections this time to RCE so far as can be ascertained.  It was owned by a man named Thomas Peckham Phipps. In 1793 Repton was invited to produce a Red Book  for Phipps.  Some of Repton's ideas at least were carried out . Using a little poetic licence or perhaps a genuine spelling mistake spelling the name with only 2 ps instead of 3 leaves an intriguing possibility.  I(f you replace a P with an M then the "name "  SMIPH.  No such actual name but it sounds the same as Smith.  Another pun?

Repton produced  a Red Book for Blaize Castle.  Another place  which Jane Austen knew something at least about because she writes of a potential trip there. The Red Book for Blaize Castle is available to view online via Bristol Museum. 

In Dawlish where Jane Austen spent some time in the early years of the  19th century Repton was again engaged to produce another of his red books.  This time for the owner of newly acquired Luscombe Castle by Charles Hoare in 1798.  Repton produced a Red Book in 1799 and much work on the site was done between 1800 - 1804.  Did she know Luscombe Castle?   Given the small size of Dawlish and its place in society at the start of the 19th century.  Seems quite likely.  

Did Jane Austen know of any others.  For example.  A Red  Book was produced for the owner of Mulgrave Castle Estate in Yorkshire belonging to the Marquess of Normanby in 1792. The man who originally commissioned Repton to produce this  Red book did take  many of the ideas  up.  Yorkshire, a  long way away one would think for Jane Austen to be aware of, but this 15000 acre estate  either backed onto or was very close to the Egton Estate owned by RCE.  Its surely not possible that the owners of these 2 estates so close together  were unknown to each other.  Intriguingly,  the Marquess of Normanby had, although no relation to Thomas Peckham Phipps , the surname PHIPPS!  Coincidence?


Sheringham Park  was another country House that Repton produced a Red Book for.  It was  Repton's favourite according to his own testimony.  For several years he lived very close by.  This red book was produced in  1812, and therefore is it should be noted quite close to when Mansfield Park was written.  So could she have known something of Sheringham. 

Stoneleigh Park was visited by Jane Austen in 1806 for about 10 days.  It was inherited in 1806 by the Rev. Thomas Leigh a cousin of Jane Austen's mother Cassandra.  In 1809 Repton produced a Red Book for Stoneleigh Park.  Between 1809 and 1813 many of his design ideas were used.   How much exactly Jane Austen knew about this who knows  but it is unlikely that she knew nothing of it.     

Together with books written by Repton on the subject of gardening which its likely that Jane Austen had access to somewhere or another  I think it likely she knew his work well.   Could she have met him in person , known that he lived close to Sheringham Park and how much he  liked the place.  Conjecture of course. But?

The more of these anagram puzzles I find, the more I think that Jane Austen, when these puzzles are taken into account, exhibited a level of brilliance that places her at a level without parallel.  

Copyright Nigel King May 2020



                                                 Now I Begin To  Understand...  I Think

Now !  Now at last I think I begin to understand something at least what is going on.  As a quick test I have a quick look (several hours ) looking for more in Mansfield Park.   But this time I am looking for at least 5 ways perhaps 6   of making anagrams and particularly with reference to longer names and using 2 letters be it deleting and or exchanging.

The methods to employ  are described below

1)  Exchanging 1 letter for another

2) Deleting 1 letter 

3) Exchanging 2 letters for 2 other letters

4) Deleting 2 letters 

5) Exchanging 1 letter for another and deleting 1 letter

6)A direct anagram 

From this point on the  relevant section of text will be given as well in italics 

There are a number of short anecdotes  based around individuals who say nothing, do nothing, affect the plot etc in no way and having appeared quickly disappear.   ie, Campbell, Atkinson, Whitaker, Oliver, Fraser, Stornaway and many others in her other novels as well. These look likely candidates for an anagram puzzle.   It would provide point and purpose for their inclusion for which points and purposes are in short supply.


It was a very successful and rewarding search.  Below are listed a whole lot anagrams from names quickly found using one of the above formulas.  Firstly from Mansfield Park and then a very brief glance into Northanger  Abbey and written down on scrap paper as they are found.

The first 2  to be found were however  disappointing. Disappointing in that I had missed such easy to spot examples.

Price  Chapter  1  paragraph 2

Exchange C for a D in  the word PRIDE , "Mrs. Price could no longer afford to cherish PRIDE"

Just like Reynolds, Millar's, Baddeley, Owens, Harding and now Price the name and pride  the word to be found in the text close by  

Lee   Chapter  1  Paragraph 13


Exchange  L for an S in  the word SEE also close by in  Chapter 1  Paragraph 13

"Miss Lee ,whether she has three girls to teach or only two - there can be no difference.  I only wish I could be more useful,; but you SEE"

See comment above 

How did I miss these 2

Ellis  Chapter 1  Paragraph 13


Better though a few lines later was Ellis.  The text reads "Ellis to wait on her AS WELL AS  " Delete the W from Well and exchange the  A in either use of the word As for an I  and especially the last use of AS the  name Ellis can be seen. Complicated,  far fetched, unlikely, impossible.   Perhaps.  But ask yourself how often does this need to occur before the only word to use is Genius.

Dr. Grant    Chapter 11  Paragraph 30 and 31 


The relevant text reads   "Dr. Grant would have been in a GREATER "  Exchange the D of Dr. and the N of Grant in each case for an E to make the word GREATER. Once again the word to be found is found close by in the text.


Oliver  Chapter 15  paragraph  57  

Oliver  makes an appearance at the end of Chapter 15.  This is the piece of text to note "Tom Oliver is a very

clever " 

Exchange the S in Is  for for an O and the V in Very for an L  to make Oliver.  But that is not all  For by exchanging the C in Clever for an O and an E   in Clever for an I  and Oliver can be made again.  An accident?   Seems pretty clever to me

Charles  Chapter 15  Paragraph 57

Charles Maddox a few lines further on I found no possibilities for Maddox.  But the text following his appearance reads "as gentleman like a man as you will see anywhere, so I will take my horse "  Exchange an  S and O from either So and Horse for a C and L to make the name Charles.


Campbell  Chapter 38  Paragraph 36  The relevant text below 


 "Mr. Campbell the surgeon of the Thrush, a WELL behaved young man who CAME"  Exchange the W from Well for a P and the E from Came for a B  to make Campbell. 

Mrs. Fraser    Chapter 36  paragraph 12. 


Stornaway as  in Lady Stornaway and Mrs Fraser  bothered me a long while.   Eventually I clicked.  For Fraser Exchange F and R for E and T in the word Easter  the  text "Mrs. Fraser not to go to her till after Easter" has a new interpretation .


Stornaway   Chapter 44  The letter to Fanny after paragraph 1    

Stornaway.  I found this anagram puzzle rather harder to find.   Exchange the N In Stornaway for an F and the W in Stornaway for an R found and W of Stornaway for an F and R and two words next to each other can be found ASTRAY FOR.  The relevant words are in the same paragraph but further away thus making it much harder to spot The relevant text is as follows  " They have been leading her (Lady Stornaway) astray for years .


Dipping into  Persuasion for a brief  look I soon found 

Robinson  Chapter 7. The text relevant text below 

"the collar-bone was soon replaced, and though Mr. Robinson "  Exchange the E from Bone for an R and O from Soon for an I and Robinson can now be made


Wallis    Chapter 15 a close friend of Sir Walter . 


A two word anagram WAS and ILL.  The text reads  "Wallis ,a highly respectable man,  perfectly the  gentleman ( and not an ILL looking man, Sir Walter added  ) who WAS.  It was Colonel Wallis's wife who was ill and being nursed by Nurse Rooke 

And back for  another look in Mansfield Park 

Yates  Chapter 18  paragraph 3  The relevant text below


 "more talent and taste than Mr. Yates"   Exchanging the Y for a T produces the word Taste.   The above solutions were found in a relatively short time period   So many results after such a short search persuade me that a much more intense search of all the texts will be required and that such a search will produce firstly many more to spot anagrams and secondly more sophisticated in their construction.  

Added  25 June  2020

Copyright Nigel King 

So rereading again, but this time beginning with Mansfield Park, followed by  Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey Persuasion, and finally Emma. I just know there are many more still to come.  So many I would be amazed if I see them all.

Mansfield Park

Whitaker.   Chapter 11   The relevant text below


"WHITE gowns.  TAKE "   This quote is towards the end of one of the paragraphs in which Mrs Whitaker appears.  Very simple this one  Delete the  E  from white to leave WHIT and exchange the T in Take for an R  and place it at the end of Ake  to give AKER .  Put the two together WHITAKER.

Jackson   Chapter 13  Paragraph 31


  This solution along with another for Jackson below were two  of the last to be found in Mansfield Park.  It only came because I felt absolutely certain that the name Jackson must be findable.  This anagram puzzle and the one following are the 2 anagrams created with the most difficulty and complexity so far.  The relevant text below 

"as long as Jackson is employed, everything will be right with Sir Thomas .- Don't imagine that nobody in this house can see or Judge but yourself- Don't ACT yourself, if you do NOT   like it, but don't expect to govern everybody else".   Use  the J from judge, swap the T in act for a K   swap the T in Not for an S and thus make SON.  Put them together  and their a very complex way is JACKSON.         


Jackson   Chapter  15 Paragraph  22


Jackson again with similar complexity.   

Mrs Norris is talking about the Jacksons  The relevant text below

"(the Jacksons are very encroaching - I have always said so - Just the SORT  of people to get all they CAN )

So, Use the J from Just exchange the R of Sort for a C and the T also from Sort for a K and there is another very hard to spot  JACKSONS  


Some  people may not like these 2  explanations ,  accuse me of finding things and inferring things by happy accident. To them I would say  wait a while for there is  more in a similar vein to come and remember there is nothing to find if the names are swapped around. 

Bertram  as in Lady Bertram  Chapter 17   Paragraph  18


  A key few lines coming up.  Firstly in  this chapter   one of Jane Austen's  2 uses of the word cypher is to be

found.  She also uses the word ciphers once in Emma.   We know that JA liked puzzles, games, anagrams, etc.  She was also very interested in Cyphers.  In the light of what I am to find later I believe it pertinent to suggest that JA maybe indicating that there is a coded message of some description.

Secondly an anagram puzzle is also included in the relevant text below.

"Lady Bertram seems more of a CYPHER now than when he is at home;  and nobody else can keep Mrs. Norris in order.  BUT MARY  "  Exchange the U from But for an R and the Y from Mary for an E to make Bertram.

Sotherton  Chapter  21  paragraph 27  The relevant text below.  It was very pleasing to spot another example of Sotherton in an anagram puzzle


"ever done on the SPOT - and before the middle of the same month the ceremony  had taken place, which gave Sotherton ANOTHER mistress."  Delete the P from Spot and the A from another to make Sotherton.

Bertram  Chapter 25  Paragraph  27  The relevant text below 

"(LET me see, MARY; Lady Bertram "  Exchange the L  from Let for a B and the Y from Mary for an R to make Bertram

Fraser  Chapter  36  Paragraph  12  the relevant text below

"Mrs.Fraser has been an intimate friend FOR YEARS."  Delete the O from For and the Y from Years to make Fraser."

Maxwell  Chapter 39   4th Paragraph from the end   The relevant text below 

"old Mrs. Admiral Maxwell, only SIX weeks before she was taken for death.  Poor little sweet creature!  WELL.  Exchange the S and I from Six for an M and A to make Maxwell.

Pride and Prejudice


Catherine  Chapter 5  Volume 2  Paragraph 6. 

Its a significant amount of text to quote so I wont but shortly after Catherine de Bourgh are these  two words together "her notice".

Exchange the O of notice for an A to make Catherine 

Rosings  Chapter 7  Volume 2 Paragraph 6   The text below

"it was TO BRING an addition to Rosings"

Exchange the T from To for an S and the B from Bring for another S  to make  Rosings.


Rosings again  Chapter 12  Volume 2  Paragraph 3    The text below 

"It was dated from Rosings at eight o'clock in the MORNING

Exchange the M and an N from Morning for 2 Ss to make Rosings.


Rosings again    Chapter 14  Volume 2  Paragraph 1  The text below.


The second time using the same word and therefore no explanation is required.

"the two gentleman left Rosings the next MORNING"

Catherine   Chapter 14  Volume 2  Paragraph 1  Also in the 1st paragraph with Rosings is Catherine.  The last 4 words of text below

"TO DINE with HER" (Catherine de Bourgh)

Exchange the O from To for a C and the D from Dine for an A to make Catherine

Mary King   Chapter 16   Volume 2   Paragraph 9  The text below

" There is no danger of Wickham's MARRYING MARY KING".  As I said earlier How could I miss that one. Exchange K from Mary King for an R to make MARRYING 

Wickham   Chapter 18   Volume 2  Paragraph 30    I had long hoped to find an anagram puzzle for Wickham.  The relevant text below.

"Indeed!" cried Wickham WITH a look which did not escape her. "And pray MAY I ask"

Exchange the T in With for a C and the Y in May for a K and there is Wickham

Forster   Chapter 19  Volume 2  Paragraph 5   Forster also had eluded me and was another name I looked forward to finding at least one anagram puzzle. The relevant text below

"as Mrs Forster called her, and they were going to the camp, and FROM HER"

Exchange the M from From for an S and the H from Her for a T and Forster is made.

Meryton    Chapter 19  Volume 2  Paragraph 6  The relevant text below

"TO ENTER  Meryton"

Exchange the T from To for an M and an E from Enter for a Y and Meryton can be made.

Lambton   Chapter 19  Volume  2  Paragraph 12  The relevant  text below

"and within five miles of  Lambton, Elizabeth found from her aunt that Pemberley.  It was NOT in their direct road, nor more than a MILE "

Exchange the I and E from Mile for an A and B to make Lambton. 

Reynolds  Chapter 1  Volume 3  Paragraph 18 

 Mrs Reynolds is informing Lizzy and the Gardiners about some pictures that were the favourites of her late master  (Darcy's Father)  She says that he was VERY FOND of them.

Exchange the V from Very  for an L and the F from Fond for an S and Reynolds can be made.

This puzzle comes shortly after the earlier Splendor/ Reynolds found much earlier.  (On the same page in my text) 

Wickham again  Chapter 6  Volume 3 Paragraph  14  The relevant text below

" Who is to fight Wickham and MAKE HIM "

Exchange the M from Make or Him  for a C and the E from Make for a W and there is Wickham


Gardiner  Chapters 7, 8, and 10 respectively.   

The 3 letters from Mr and Mrs Gardiner to Mr. Bennet and Lizzy These have been put together because I think they are interlinked and interlinked in a way that is just fabulous.

 Firstly, please notice that although very personal letters to  close family menbers each letter  is signed in a different and very formal way.  Neither by Christian name or even Uncle or Aunt Gardiner.  But Edw. Gardiner,  E. Gardiner and M. Gardiner.  Why so formal and why sign one Edw. Gardiner and the other  E. Gardiner.  Why not the same way?  If as many say JA does indeed not do things without good reason then this needs some explaining.


I have, I think an explanation that is beyond belief.  It is just stunning.

Firstly  Edw. Gardiner

This is the signature on the first letter .  In this first letter Mr Gardiner is describing events so far in the search for Lydia and Wickham.  He says that they are not married yet but that "my niece should be married from this house.  (Mr. Gardiner's house in Gracechurch Street)

By exchanging the G and E from the name Gardiner for an M and Y  or even the word MY we can make the word MARRYING. 


But also exchange the G or N for an M and delete the other to make MARRIED 

Then also by exchanging the D and N from Gardiner for an M and A we can make the word MARRIAGE .

Now for the good stuff

The abbreviation for the name Edward ie. EDW  can be rearranged to make WED!!!

Add a twist of complication 

Take the letters of WED and the letters used to make the exchange from Gardiner to  Marriage which is the letters  

W E D D N M and A.  Follow  very very carefully 

Is it just coincidence that if one exchanges  the M and A from this group for an I and G then the word WEDDING can be made.  I would have said not!

 The second letter from Mr Gardiner  is signed E. Gardiner . Combining the letters used to make Marriage from Gardiner and including the E of the signature  gives the letters M E D A and N 

One straightforward anagram to be made from this is AMEND.  So what one might think.  This is one half completed of a very simple and not that funny a joke; which while not that funny is unbelievably complex in its construction.  The other half of the joke is to be found in the third letter. 


To make Marriage from Gardiner involves exchanging the letters D and N in Gardiner for an M and A 

If these 4 letters are put with Mrs Gardiner's Christian name initial the letters M D N M and a form a group.  By exchanging one of the Ms for an E the word A M E N D  can be made. 

Now for the Joke 

If only the letters used to create Marriage  from Gardiner are used the group consists of D A M and N.   Exchange the M for An R and there is the word D A R N.   HA HA HA. 


Well I think that that  is absolutely extraordinary.

Creative ingenuity is not to be found in random occurrence.  I do not believe for a nanosecond that the above, not terribly well explained by me I'm afraid could possibly be anything other that the result of intelligent (Supremely Gifted ) design.  

The work of the greatest geniuses that ever lived is often not realised for decades even centuries after their death.  Usually this is the work of geniuses who are men. ( See for example Leonardo Da Vinci or Nikolai Tesla  )  I never heard of any woman whose true  genius was unrecognised in this way for 200 years and more after her death.  

Lydia Chapter 9 Volume 3 In between the Gardiner's letters was Lydia. The relevant text below.

"at Lydia; but she, who never heard or saw anything of which she chose to be insensible GAILY continued"

Exchanging The G from Gaily for a D provides the well concealed anagram Lydia.  Another that I really think I should have spotted earlier.

Added  11 July  202

Copyright Nigel King


HE WAS   Who was?  Chapter 8  Volume 3 Paragraph 14 and 15  The relevant text below  Lizzy reflecting upon Darcy and what she has lost 


"What a triumph for him, as SHE often thought, could HE know that the proposals , which SHE had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been gladly and gratefully received.  HE WAS as generous , she doubted not as the most generous of his sex.  But while HE WAS mortal, there must be a triumph.

    She began now to comprehend that HE WAS exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents  would suit her.


I have put in capital letters the SHE either side of HE because if one exchanges  the 2 Hs for a W and L the name ELWES can be made twice.   Similarly for HE WAS.  If one exchanges the H for an L and the A for an E then again ELWES can be made.   My imagination perhaps. 


Reynolds  Chapter 10 Volume 3 Paragraph 9 after the letter from M. Gardiner The relevant text below 


"Poor Reynolds, she was always VERY FOND of  me  (Wickham)

Exchange the V in Very for an L and the F in Fond for an S and there is Reynolds 


Catherine Chapter 14  Volume 3  Paragraph 41  The text below


" You are to understand, Miss Bennet, THAT I  (Lacy Catherine ) came HERE "  Exchange a T from That for a C and the H in Here for an  N to make Catherine.

Catherine Chapter 10 Volume 3  Paragraph  57  The text below

"You have no regard, then, for the honour AND CREDIT of my (Lady Catherine's) nephew" 

Exchange the D from And for an H and the D in Credit for an E to make Catherine.

Catherine Chapter 15 Volume 3 Paragraph  1  In this short piece the name Catherine can be made 6 times using the words certain and either set, as (twice), her, to or at.  What a supremely flexible word certain is in the cause of making anagram names of Catherine.    The text below.

"she concluded had reached Lady Catherine) had only SET that, AS almost CERTAIN and immediate which SHE 

had looked forward TO AS  possible, AT some future time.    I will leave the reader to work these out.  There are quite a few 

Catherine  Chapter 16 Volume 3  Paragraph 8  The text below

" I (Lizzy) knew enough of your disposition to BE CERTAIN, that had you (Darcy) been absolutely, irrevocably decided against me, you would have acknowledged it to Lady Catherine.." Exchange the B in Be for an H to make Catherine.


I have no doubt that a few have been missed.  


Added 15 July 2020

Copyright Nigel King


 Return to Northanger Abbey

Before returning to anagrams I must make one further point about the possibility that Torre Abbey is to some extent the  basis for Northanger Abbey.  Firstly this book was finished circa 1804.  Secondly during Catherine's guided tour around the abbey General Tilney names a few of the distinguished characters who have stayed there.  Two gentleman who stayed there of particular note are John Jervis Earl St. Vincent  who stayed for 9 months and who I earlier suggested could have influenced the portrayal of the character General Tilney.  The second very distinguished person to stay there, and quite probably the most famous Englishman at that time was Admiral Horatio Nelson who stayed for 1 night in 1801  and albeit a few years later in 1807 Caroline  Princess of Wales.   

N.b.  This section was originally typed in late July August 2020.  I thought it was published.  Exactly how it came to be unpublished I do not know.  It is probably something as simple  as I forgot to click publish before closing down the computer.  So here below are the anagram puzzles I found relating to Northanger Abbey  and if I might say so "What an extraordinary collection and quantity  they comprise in themselves let alone thge fact that they are simply part of a far greater and more wondrous whole.  Fifty using just 1 name 8 on 1 page 4 in 1 paragraph.  Stunning !  I have not the words to praise highly enough.

Catherine Chapter 1  Paragraph 1.    The puzzles begin from the off.  Below is the relevant text 

"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her to be born an heroine "

Exchange the N from An for a C and the O from Heroine  for a T to make Catherine 

Morland  Chapter 1  paragraph 2  The text Below

"Such was Catherine Morland at ten.  At fifteen appearances were mending, she began to curl her hair and long

Exchange the the N ang G of long for an M and R to make Morland.

Catherine  Chapter 1  Penultimate Paragraph.  This piece of text shows as clearly as one could wish that Jane Austen was well aware that "an heroine" was grammatically incorrect.  See also chapter 3 Tilney's opinion of women's deficiency in writing one of which is their "frequent ignorance of grammar"

"But when a young lady (Catherine) is to be a heroine. " 

As above exchanging the O in To and the O in Heroine for a C and A to make Catherine

Morland's   Chapter 2  Paragraph  1   N.B.  Another example of the use of an apostrophe s with a name to make an anagram puzzle.  

"In addition to what has already been said about Catherine Morlands's personal"

By exchanging the

P and E in Personal for an M and D to make Morlands.

Morland  Chapter 2  Paragraph  2

"But Mrs Morland knew so little of lords and baronets."

By deleting either the D or S and exchanging the other for an M the name Morland can be made

Sarah  Chapter 2  Paragraph  3    Noteworthy because its the first  example of 2/3 puzzles in one phrase with the same name 

"Sally, or rather Sarah, ( for what young lady of common gentility will reach the age of sixteen without altering her name as far as she can)"

Exchange the E of Her for an A to make Sarah and 

Exchange the F of Far for an H to make Sarah twice using As 

Catherine's  Chapter 2  Paragraph  3

"It is remarkable, however, that she neither insisted on Catherine's 

By exchanging one of the H's and one of the E's for a C and A to make Catherine's

Catherine  Chapter 2  Paragraph 9

"Catherine, however kept close at her side,"

By exchanging the S and D from Side for a C and N the name Catherine can be found 

Allen       Chapter 2  "  Paragraph  9   With shorter names like Allen there are many instances of being able to exchange and or delete utilizing 2 letters to make a relevant name anagram.  I only note and  include this one  although I think it quite possible in the great scheme of Jane Austen's work that ALL should be included.  I will include any short name that requires only 1 letter change (assuming I spot them) and 1 name where 2 changes are used 

"Mrs. Allen did all that she could" 

Delete either the S or H of She and exchange the other for an N to make Allen 

Catherine   Chapter  2  Paragraph  12   There are a choice selection of rather more subtly cryptic anagrams.  Usually it is required to delete and or exchange up to 2  letters from one or two words.  In this example it is still required to delete or exchange up to  2 letters but in this case it is from a sequence of letters that link  2 words.  I have italicized the relevant letters.  More remarkable still is that the name in this example using this methodology can be found more than once .  Furthermore, were that not already enough.  Note also the exclamation mark at the end of the quote.   I cant help myself but I have to ask "How clever is that?!" 

"How uncomfortable it is," whispered Catherine, "not to have a single acquaintance here!" 

1)  Take the letters I N T A N C E H E R 

By deleting one of the N's Catherine can be made

2)   Take the letters  I N T A N C E H E R E 

By deleting one of the N's and one of the E's Catherine can be made 

3)  Take the letters  T A N C E H E R E 

By exchanging one of the E's for an I the name Catherine can be made 

4)  Take the letters N T A N C E H E R 

By exchanging the an E for an I the name Catherine can be made.

5)   Take the letters  A I N T A N C E H E 

By deleting either the A or N and exchanging the other for an R  the name Catherine can be found.

I am of the opinion given Jane Austen's known liking  for anagrams,  for her ability to create meaning  that has to be seen by the reader  and what is to come in a similar vein  that all the above are meant to be found, by you, the reader, if you can.

Allen  Chapter 2  Paragraph  17

"But, dear Mrs. Allen, are you sure there is nobody you know in all this multitude of people?"

Very simple and obvious.  Exchange the I from In for an E to make the name Allen.

Catherine  Chapter 3  Paragraph  2

"to our heroine "  Our heroine in this instance being Catherine.   As before exchange the 2 o's for a C and A to make Catherine 

Tilney  Chapter 3  Paragraph  Sixth from the end

"Mr. Tilney was polite"

By exchanging the P and O of the word Polite for an N and Y the name Tilney can be made.

Chapter 4  Paragraph 2 is deserving of comment for the following quote 

"despair of nothing we would attain" as " unwearied diligence our point would gain"  

The notes in my copy of Northanger Abbey say that these lines are untraced.   Why might they not be an original rhyming couplet by Jane Austen?

Thorpe  Chapter 4  paragraph  2

"the stranger pronounced hers to be Thorpe" 

Exchanging the S of Hers for a P one can  make the name Thorpe

Isabella  Chapter 4  paragraph 3  This one is questionable But.....

"the tallest is Isabella"

By exchanging the 2 t's and an S for an A and B one can make the name Isabella.  The letters used in this exchange are BATTSIf one exchnges a T for an R one can make the word BRATS or if one deletes either the  T aor S and  exchanges the other for an H one can make the town Bath.  I include this with a big question mark.

Thorpe  Chapter4   Penultimate Paragraph 

" Mrs. Thorpe was a widow, and not a very rich one; she was a good humoured, well meaning woman, and a very indulgent mother." 

Exchange the M from Mother for a P to make the name Thorpe.

Catherine  Chapter 5  Paragraph  1

"Catherine was not so much engaged at the theatre that evening, in returning the nods and smiles"

Exchange one of the T's in Theatre for a C to make the name Catherine.

Catherine  Chapter 5  Paragraph 2

""Here Catherine and Isabella arm in arm,"

This is an anagram that can be done twice due to the double use of the word arm. 

By exchanging one of the R's and the M for a C and a T the name Catherine can be made  

Andrews  Chapter 6  Paragraph  12

"a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest in the world has read every one of them."

" possibilities in one short phrase.

By exchanging one of the A's and the H from has read for an N  and a W  or by exchanging the O and an E from read one for an S and W in each case the name Andrews can be made.

Isabella  Chapter 6  Paragraph  16

"Isabella laughed. It is very true, upon my honour,; but I see how it is: you are indifferent to everybody 's admiration except of one gentleman who shall be nameless."

Rather like the aforementioned acquaintance.  If you exchange the O in Who for an I then this letter together with the words shall be makes Isabella. 

Thorpe  Chapter 6  Final  Paragraph

"... of Miss Thorpe, and her resolution of humbling the sex, they set off immediately as fast as they could walk, in pursuit of the two young men. "

Exchange the W from the word two for a P and together with Her one can make the name Thorpe.​

Isabella  Chapter7  Paragraph Sixth from end of chapter.

"She (Isabella) is a most amiable girl;"

Exchange one of the A' and the M for an S and an L to make Isabella

Morland Chapter  9  Paragraph  10

"I beg your pardon, for this liberty Miss Morland,"

Exchange the I of I and the P of Pardon for an M and L to make the name Morland 

Catherine  Chapter  9  Paragraph  11

"Catherine interested at once by her appearance..."

Exchange the O in Once for an I to make the name Catherine.

Catherine  Chapter 10  Paragraph  2

"No,"said Catherine  " He is not here" 

Exchange the I from Is and the O from Not for a C and an A to make Catherine

Catherine  Chapter 10  Paragraph  8

"... till Catherine began to dou8bt the happiness of a situation which confining her entirely to her friend and brother, gave her (Catherine) very little notice of either."

Exchange the O from Notice for an A to make Catherine

Henry  Chapter 10  Paragraph  10

"Henry!" she replied with a smile,  "Yes, he does dance very well"

Exchange one of the E's and the S for an R and an N to make the name Henry

Catherine  Chapter 10  Paragraph  24

"Catherine had neither..." 

Delete  one of the H's or the D and exchange the other for a C to make Catherine

Fletcher  Chapter 10  Paragraph 29..."Sam Fletcher , has got one to sell that would suit anybody. A famous clever animal for the road -..."

Delete either the V or an E and exchange the other for an F to make Fletcher.

Allen  Chapter 10  Paragraph  51  Some might object to this one but I would refer them to Acquaintance here and other anagram puzzles where sequential parts of words are utilized as will follow soon

"Only go and call on Mrs.Allen"

Whilst one can delete the C from Call and exchange the O from On for an E to make Allen,  however the deletion of the C is not needed if viewed as a sequence of letters connecting 2 words and I feel this needs to be pointed out


Catherine  Chapter 11  Paragraph  14

"The clock struck twelve, and it still rained- "You (Catherine ) will not be able to go my dear."

Exchange the D from Rained for a C to make Catherine


St. Aubin  Chapter  11  Paragraph  15    Aubin  as in St. Aubin should be spelt  with a Y and not an I.  Why, when Jane Austen  must have known it should be spelt with a Y did she spell it with an I. 

..."or at least in Tuscany, and the South of France! - the night that poor St. Aubin died !"

I propose that by spelling it correctly readers may have spotted the anagram more easily.  As it is when the B from Aubin is exchanged for a C you get the pun of Tuscani and if you go further and exchange the I for a Y do you get Tuscany  

Catherine  Chapter  11  Paragraph  17

"...And  Catherine had barely watched him down the street when her notice was claimed by the approach..."

A simple exchange easily seen exchange of the O in Notice for an A to make the name Catherine

Catherine  Chapter  11  Paragraph  22

*"Blaize Castle!" cried Catherine: "what is that"

A double puzzle By exchanging the D from Cried and either the W from What or the T from That for an N and an E to make Catherine twice 

Blaize Castle  Chapter  11

  There is no anagram to be found from Blaize Castle But I feel Blaize Castle  worth noting.  Jane Austen was clearly aware of Blaize Castle.  She was clearly aware to some extent of the most famous garden landscaper in England during the early years of the 19th century Humphrey Repton to the extent that she  knew how much he charged and references him in Mansfield Park .  He is especially well known for the production of his delightful "Red Books" which he created for every garden he did designs for.  One of these "Red Books" was for Blaize Castle.


Isabella  Chapter   11  Second from the End

Isabella is speaking  " I wonder whether it will be a full ball or not!"

Exchange one of the B's and the T for an S and an A to make Isabella

Catherine  Chapter  12  Paragraph  16

"Whilst talking to each other, she  (Catherine)  had observed with some surprise..."

Exchange one of the H's and the O from other for an I and an N to make Catherine


 Isabella  Chapter  13  Paragraph  1

"Do not urge me, Isabella. I am engaged to Miss Tilney. I cannot go." is availed nothing. The same arguments assailed her again;"

Exchange the D and an S from Assailed for a B and an L to make Isabella

Catherine  Chapter  13  Paragraph  2

"She knew her beloved Catherine to have so feeling a heart"

N.B.  Another sequence anagram 

Exchange the G and A for a C and  E to make Catherine 

Catherine  Chapter  13  Paragraph  3

"Catherine thought this reproach equally strange and unkind.  Was it the part of a friend thus to expose her feelings to the notice of others?"

Exchange one of T's and the O of Notice for an A and an r to make Catherine 

Isabella  Chapter  13  Paragraph  4

"...was a broken by Isabella; who in a voice of cold resentment said "Very well, then there is an end of the party."

Exchange the W from Well and the N from An for an A and B to make Isabella

Catherine  Chapter  13  Paragraph  6

"I (Catherine) dare say either of them would like to go."

Exchange the S and Y from Say for a C and N to make Catherine

Isabella  Chapter  13 Paragraph  16

"Isabella's countenance was once more all smiles and, and good humour 

Exchange one of the L's and the M from Smiles for an A and B to make ISABELLA'S

Catherine  Chapter  13  Paragraph  22

"Then I will go after them" said Catherine

Exchange one of the T's and the F from After for a C and an I to make Catherine

Catherine  Chapter  13 Paragraph  32

"Dear madam,"  cried Catherine, "then why did you not tell me so before"

Exchange the D from Cried for an A to make Catherine 

Catherine  Chapter  13  Final paragraph

""if she (Catherine ) had been guilty of one breach of propriety

Exchange the O from One and the B from Breach for an I and T to make Catherine.

Catherine  Chapter  14  Paragraph  1

"The Tilneys called for her at the appointed time;"

Exchange one of the T's and the M from time for a C and an N to make Catherine

Emily  Chapter14  Paragraph  11

"- I want an appropriate simile; - as far as your friend Emily herself left poor Vallencout"

From Simile minus the S to the punning anagram  Emili?

Catherine  Chapter 14  from Paragraph  12  Catherine says

" Not very good, I am afraid.  But now really, do not you think Udolpho THE NICEST book in the world." 

I have used capital letters for the phrase  said by Catherine "The nicest" because 

Firstly by exchanging one of the T's and the S from Nicest for an A and an R the name Catherine can be made and secondly because the first words in Henry Tilney's reply are "The nicest" and thirdly in the next paragraph where Miss tilney remonstrates with Henry for his impertinence we see this phrase "The word nicest"

In the following 3 paragraphs reproduced below the word NICE is used 6 times.  On 5 of those occasions an anagram involving the use of the word NICE can be made 

3 times the phrase "A VERY NICE "  By exchanging the V and Y of Very for a T and H will make the name Catherine

1 time the phrase "NICE IN THEIR"` From the words Nice and Their by exchanging the letter I for an A Catherine can be made. Not only this but also the sequence of letters CE IN THEIR  where again exchanging an I for an A the name Catherine can be made 

Finally in the next paragraph  "You ARE more NICE THAN  wise.   By deleting 1 of the N's and1 of the A's the name Catherine can be made.   

Not many novelists would consider  using the words  NICE and NICEST never mind using both in just 1 page collectively  10 times.

Not very good, I am afraid. But now really, do not you think Udolpho the nicest book in the world?"

"The nicest--by which I suppose you mean the neatest. That must depend upon the binding."

"Henry," said Miss Tilney, "you are very impertinent. Miss Morland, he is treating you exactly as he does his sister. He is forever finding fault with me, for some incorrectness of language, and now he is taking the same liberty with you. The word 'nicest,' as you used it, did not suit him; and you had better change it as soon as you can, or we shall be overpowered with Johnson and Blair all the rest of the way."

I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should not I call it so?"

"Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk, and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything. Originally perhaps it was applied only to express neatness, propriety, delicacy, or refinement--people were nice in their dress, in their sentiments, or their choice. But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word."

"While, in fact," cried his sister, "it ought only to be applied to you, without any commendation at all. You are more nice than wise.

Isabella  Chapter 15  Paragraph

"Isabella now entered the room with so eager a step, and a look of such happy importance, as engaged all her (Catherine) friends notice." 

Exchange the H and R from Her for a B and I to make Isabella.

Catherine  Chapter 15  Paragraph  5.  Exactly the same text but this time the words in italics are her and notice

As in a previous example exchange the O from Notice for an A to make Catherine.

Catherine  Chapter  15  Paragraph  10

"You will be so much infinitely dearer to me, my Catherine, than either Anne or Maria" 

In this puzzle there are 2 anagrams to find . The first using "than either" the second "either Anne"

In the first delete either a T or H from Than or Either and exchange the other for a C to make Catherine 

In the second delete either an N or E from Either or Anne and exchange the other for a C to make Catherine.

Andrews  Chapter  15  Paragraph  14

"I remember too, Miss Andrews drank tea with us that evening,..." 

Exchange the K from Drank and the U from Us for an E and W to make Andrews.

Isabella  Chapter  16  Paragraph  1

"Isabella, on hearing the particulars of the visit, gave a different explanation. "It was all...." 

Exchange the T from It and the W from Was for a B and an E to make Isabella

Catherine  Chapter c 17  Paragraph  1

"...And her (Catherine) happiness being certain for that period,..."

Delete an R from either Her or Certain to make the name Catherine

Henry  Chapter 18  Paragraph  10  To all rules should be an exception?  Here is an exception to short names requiring a double change of letter

"...with Henry at her heart...."

At her is an anagram of Heart 

By exchanging the A and T for an N and Y the name Henry can be made twice 

What's in a name one might ask.  With Jane Austen everything.  None of these anagrams puzzles could exist if characters had different names.  Isabella for example is not interchangeable with Catherine.  The sense of the text might not alter but its fullest  meaning when understood is lost.   

Isabella  Chapter 18   Paragraph 2  When considering this anagram  puzzle remember St.  Aubin

"...a fine opportunity for being really so; and therefore gaily said,"Do not be uneasy Isabella..."

Exchange the R from really for a B and the O from So for an A and something approximating to Isabella can be made       YSABELLA 

Isabella  Chapter 18  Paragraph  19

Isabella is speaking and says " All that is best known to yourself" 

Delete one of the S's from either Is or Best and exchange the T from Best for an A to make Isabella

James  Chapter  19  Paragraph  1

",....and allowing him almost an equal share with James..."

By exchanging the T in the sequence of italicized kletters for a J the name James can be made.

Catherine  Chapter 19  Paragraph  1 

Immediately after in the above quote  "in her notice and smiles"

Catherine is observing the behaviour of Isabella and Captain Tilney.  A repeat of a previous puzzle by exchanging the O in Notice for an A the name Catherine can be found

Tilney  Chapter 19  4th paragraph  from end

Henry Tilney is speaking  

" only to be secured by her seeing nothing of Captain Tilney?  Is he safe only in solitude

Note a the repetition of "is only"  and note also "only to" "only in"  There are if two letters exchanged a number of wayys to make Tilney

Catherine  Chapter  19  3rd paragraph from the end 

"Their hearts are open to each other as neither heart can be to you (Catherine)"

Double anagram  

Firstly the words Neither and Can By deleting the N from Neither or Can to make the name Catherine

Secondly the words Heart Can Be.  By deleting either an A or the B and exchanging the other for for I to make Catherine

N.B The next word after "heart can be" is to spelt to and not two  Coincidence?

Eleanor  Chapter  20  Paragraph  9

"I am always sorry to leave Eleanor "

Exchange the T from To and the V from Leave for an N and R to make Eleanor

 Catherine  Chapter  21  Paragraph  3 


 A quite unprecedented  grouping of anagram puzzles.  Absolutely  outstanding in their constructive brilliance.  For those that really wish to write like Austen You have a long way to go before you get close to your goal  and you will not be churning your parodies  out annually or more frequently any longer!  

For the sake of clarity the relevant portions of text will be capitalised. 


This ill-timed intruder was Miss Tilney's maid, sent by her mistress to be of use to Miss Morland; and though Catherine immediately dismissed  H E R,  I T   R E C A  lled her to the sense of what she ought to be doing, and fo  R C E D  H E R,  I N   spite of her anxious desire to penetrate this mystery, to pro  C E E D  I N   H E R   dressing without further delay. Her progress was not quick, for her thoughts and her eyes were still bent on the object so well calculated to interest and alarm; and though she dared not waste a moment upon a second attempt, she could not remain  many paces from the chest.

Firstly      the sequence of letters  HERITRECA.  By exchanging an  R for an N Catherine can be made

Secondly    "           "         "      "        RCEDHERIN.   "          "              "   R and D for an A and T  Catherine can be made  

Thirdly       "           "         "       "       CEEDINHER.  "           "              "   E and   D for an A and T           "          "    "       "


I personally do not believe for a second that the fact that Catherine can be made in the above ways to be an accident.  Could there be more to be found from these 3 puzzles.  I would not be surprised if there were, but if there is it eludes me.

In the paragraph before  this passage we see Catherine studying the old wooden chest and the mysterious cypher on the lid, where the initial that  looks as if it should be a T is anything but.  If there is a code/s is the above somehow a key??? 


 The last anagram puzzle requires the deletion of the M from Remain and the S from Chest to make Catherine.


Tilney  Chapter 21  Paragraph  5

"Miss Tilney gently hinted her fear of being late"