Here are selections of antiquarian books from my own collection, which I consider are useful when studying Jane Austen’s era.
The Art of Cookery by John Mollond(1808)
A rare edition: containing the first known recipe for 12th Night Cake.
Hoyles Games 1817 edition: The New Hoyle Containing Easy Rules for Playing the Games of Whist, Quadrille,Cribbage,Piquet,Matrimony, Quinze,Chess,Backgammon,Daughts,Billiards,Cricket,Tennis,Goff,Faro,Hazard,Rouge et Noir,Cassino,Connexions,Put,Loo,Lottery,Speculation, with Tables of Odds. The ” how to” book for the gamester.
The Complete System of English Country Dancing, with diagrams and scientific instructions for the Composing of Country Dances and an Etiquette of the Ball Room etc. by Thomas Wilson, of the Kings Theatre, Opera House. A fascinating and comprehensive treatise on the whole genre of country dances of early nineteenth century England, with the all important Etiquette of the Ball Room.
The British Theatre, Volume XXIII, with remarks by Mrs Inchbald (1808)
Edited by Mrs Inchbald, each volume with her remarks on each of the plays .A series of 25 volumes. An invaluable record of the Georgian repertoire of plays now rarely performed on the English stage.
Cary’s Traveller’s Companion etc (1812) by John Cary
A companion volume for the early 19th century traveller containing vital information as to inns, towns and the surrounding country.With all the country maps and detailed maps of the Environs of London etc.
The Beauties of England and Wales; or, Delineations, Topographical, Historical and Descriptive of Each County Embellished With Engravings : Derbyshire (1805) by Edward Wedlake Brayley and John Britton.
Very detailed topographical and historical descriptions of places in each county,together with exquisite engravings of important places.
An early guide to travel in post-Napoleonic France by A and W Galignani (1822)
A very early guide-book to London, by John Feltham (1802)
A later edition (1818) of this famous guide to London
A guide to the Yorkshire seaside spa,haunt of the Bingley family in Pride and Prejudice.
William Gilpin’s Observations on Western Parts of England– one of Jane Austen’s favourite writers.
A very important work, that influenced Jane Austen throughout her all writings,but most specifically in Pride and Prejudice.Recommended reading above all else.
Servants and Domestic Life
The Law Respecting Women etc. ~essential reading in order to understand the legal ramifications of the actions of most of Jane Austen’s heroines.
Every Man His Own Lawyer etc (1812) by T. Williams. One of the many law libraries -(collections of the state of the law on nearly every topic)- available in the early 19th century, for the magistrate or amateur lawyer. Fascinating reading.
Bird’s Landlord and Tenant law of 1809.
Law and Religion
Richard Burn’s magnificent statement of the law as it applied to the Church (4 volumes)
The Liturgy of the Church of England during Jane Austen’s lifetime. An edition published by Cambridge University on the accession to the throne by George III. Printed by my ancestor, John Baskerville.
The Fasts and Festivals of the Church of England (1810) by Elizabeth Belson. A series of ‘conversations’ explaining the religious festivals of the era to a young child.