A Preview & Slideshow of Jane Was Here: An Illustrated Guide to Jane Austen’s England, by Nicole Jacobsen, Devynn Dayton, & Lexi K. Nilson

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Hello readers! Do you have plans for the weekend? While international and local travel is restricted during the pandemic, would you like to visit Jane Austen’s England from the safety of your armchair?

It is great to know that we can still visit Jane Austen country via Jane Was Here. This copiously illustrated travel guide takes us to all of the hot spots in Austenland: London, Chawton, Bath, Lyme Regis, and the Peak District. Authors Nicole Jacobsen and Devynn Dayton have planned out a delightful itinerary illustrated by Lexi K. Nilson.

There are several tour guides available in print for those who would like to plan their pilgrimage to England to walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps. This guide is different: you can use it like Austen-culture flashcards skimming through the different homes, stately manor houses, seaside and mountain areas in which Jane traveled herself, featured in her novels, or in the TV and movie adaptations. The unique, colorful, and whimsical illustrations complement the locations and facts, inspiring the reader to research the areas further.

Here is further information to entice you to explore this clever, insightful homage to our favorite author. Please check out the giveaway chance to win a copy at the end of the post. Good luck to all.


Jane Was Here is a whimsical, illustrated guide to Jane Austen’s England – from the settings in her novels and the scenes in the wildly popular television and film adaptations to her homes and other important locations throughout her own life.

Discover the stately homes of Basildon Park and Ham House and the lush landscapes of Stourhead and Stanage Edge. Tread in Jane’s footsteps as you explore her school in the old gatehouse of the ruined Reading Abbey; her perfectly-preserved home in her Chawton cottage, where she spent the last eight years of her life; or her final resting place in Winchester Cathedral.

Whether you want to take this book as your well-thumbed guide on a real Austenian pilgrimage of your own, or experience the journey from the comfort of your own living room, Jane Was Here will take you – with a tone as wry as Jane’s itself – on an enchanting adventure through the ups and downs of the world of Jane Austen.

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Introducing Jane, About this book, Which Janeite are You?, Meet the Austens, Timeline, What You’ll See, What You’ll Need, Map of Jane’s UK, Ways to Travel

I. London & Surrounds

London, Manners & Amusements, Expected Horrors, Dorney Court, Ham House, Reading, Basildon Park, Doors

II. The South

Groombridge Place, Chawton, Letters to Cassandra, Winchester, Horticulture

III. Seaside

Portsmouth, Who’s Shuffling?, Southampton, Seaside I Spy, Lyme Regis, Hartland Quay & Blackpool, Mill Cottage, Roadside Views, Road Signs

IV. Bath & Beyond

Stourhead, Bath, Assembly Halls, Ballroom Babbling, Lacock, Dogs

V. Peak District

Stanage Edge, Lyme Park, On Holiday with the Gardiners, Chatsworth, Love a Cup, Georgian Teatime

VI. East Midlands

Burghley House & Gardens, Belton House, Sketch & Paint en Plein Air, Teigh Old Rectory, Kirby Hall


Dressing Regency, Trip Trivia, Our Itinerary, Resources, About the Authors, Index


Nicole Jacobsen is a literature graduate with an interest in exploring 18th Century female authors and has contributed to projects with the Wordsworth Trust.

Devynn MacLennan Dayton has worked with Nike, Stance, and Tai Pei, and brings her communications expertise to bear on this new project.

Lexi K. Nilson has a BFA in illustration, and previous children’s book projects include The Many Masks of Margo Magnolia.


  • Jane Was Here: An Illustrated Guide to Jane Austen’s England, by Nicole Jacobsen, Devynn MacLennan, & Lexi Nilson
  • Hardie Grant; Illustrated edition (June 9, 2020)
  • Hardcover (128) pages
  • ISBN: 978-1784883362
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Austenesque, Travel Guide


Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image and illustrations complements of Hardie Grant © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2020, austenprose.com.

43 thoughts on “A Preview & Slideshow of Jane Was Here: An Illustrated Guide to Jane Austen’s England, by Nicole Jacobsen, Devynn Dayton, & Lexi K. Nilson

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  1. This book is so gorgeous and eye catching. I will definitely have to pick it up. I’m always eager to learn more of Jane Austen’s England, but sometimes just a written description doesn’t give you much to go on. Looking forward to this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll be heading back to England in the fall of 2021, and I would love to have this book at my side as I explore some of the locales that Jane knew and loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never been able to travel to see Jane Austen’s England. Now being home more than ever it would be delightful to see all the places that were important to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I’m most intrigued by the illustrations. This book looks really pretty and a fresh take on following Jane Austen’s journeys..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately I am from Italy, so I have no chance to win, howether I am curious about this book, because I would like to know more about Austen’s England.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am especially excited to explore lesser known Austen sights through these gorgeous illustrations (for example the East Midlands)! I can’t wait to see the finished product and immerse myself in a unique Austen travel guide. Let the daydreaming commence!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I nearly made it to Chawton on my last trip to England but unfortunately couldn’t find transportation from Winchester train station to get there in time before the cottage closed that day. Would love to go there again as well as Bath, and experiencing them through this book would be ideal and intriguing as I plan a Jane pilgrimage for the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My dream is to go to England and see all of the Jane Austen sites. This book intrigues me as even though I can’t go right now, I could explore through the pages of the book. I always love to learn more about Jane Austen!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Since I won’t be able to go back to England anytime soon, I’d love to do a virtual Austen tour! (2 friends and I are rereading Emma now, and loving her as much as ever – of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This book looks so charming. I like Lexi Nilsen’s darling illustrations and have seen sneak peeks over the months on her Instagram page. I’m so excited for it to finally be available!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What intrigues me about this book? Everything! I would love to make an Austen pilgrimage, but alas, this book seems likely to be my only chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I had planned to be in England this year. Sadly, travel was impossible. But, whenever the next trip happens, I would love to have this wonderful book with me. Good luck on its publication – I’m looking forward to devouring it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m leading a class tour of Jane Austen’s England next May (assuming travel is safe by then), so I seriously need this book! Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This will be a great resource for the Jane-themed group trip I’m starting to plan for sometime in the next couple years (crossing my fingers that we can travel sooner rather than later)!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The illustrations are amazing! I love the information about tea. I am intrigued by the idea of illustrating both the history of Jane as well as the history of England and the places Jane was in England. It is a very clever way of giving readers more information!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This book sounds intriguing! I was lucky to have visited Chawton and Bath once and dearly trust will be able to repeat and expand trip! The illustrations will give another facet to the enjoyment of reading. The book appears to have a whimsical aspect, a nice contrast to Deirdre Le Faye and other, more scholarly authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I work at a school, so I would love to get to share this with my students. Also, I may never be able to cross the pond to actually visit these places, so this would be a great alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Puts me in mind of the neat hand drawn illustrated maps from “Map Easy”…so accessible and more fun than just plotting a route “from here to there”. Thanks for bringing it to our attention

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Many interesting topics in the contents, and the horticulture page definitely caught my eye! Love the visual presentation.


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