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List of Illustrations, Maps and Family Trees Introduction & Acknowledgements Chapter One 1 Adlestrop and the Austen Connection: the Leigh family Introducing Adlestrop & the Leighs - Leigh influence on village - Leigh ancestors - Early influences on Jane Austen Chapter Two Country Cousins: Aristocrats and Squires Short biographies of Jane's cousins - The lunacy of the Fifth Lord Leigh - Speculation over the will - A Rector's duties - Mary Leigh's knowledge of Austen family - Class Divide - Elizabeth, the unknown correspondent Chapter Three The Improving of Adlestrop Park A new beginning, family weddings, scandalous connections, theatricals & improvements Chapter Four An Eighteenth-century Village: the Adlestrop Jane Austen first knew Jane Austen's first visit in 1794 - How she travelled & what she saw - The facts & figures, population, houses, shops - Servants & villagers - Resemblance of rectory to Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park - Great alterations to Adlestrop Park & rectory Chapter Five Country society in a Century of Change Town versus country in fiction & fact - Importance of a social neighbourhood - Enclosures & Jane Austen's interest in them - The decline of the Cotswolds agricultural economy - Poverty for villagers & consolidation of landowners - How Jane Austen reflects on change Chapter Six 'Call in Repton': the Picturesque Movement in Fact and Fiction The Romantic movement - The Leighs on their Picturesque Journey - How Jane Austen embeds her Adlestrop experiences in her work - Repton and his influence on village - How Adlestrop is turned upside-down - How the past & present co-exist Chapter Seven Family quarrels: The Fight for Stoneleigh A family divided over the will - The expectations of the Austens - Impact on Jane Austen's themes - Portrait of eccentric Hon Mary Leigh - Links with Jane Austen's brothers - Jane Austen's sense of financial insecurity - Odious behaviour of James Leigh Perrot Chapter Eight The real Sotherton? Jane Austen at Stoneleigh Abbey Revd Thomas Leigh Jane, Cassandra & Mrs Austen to Stoneleigh - Strong parallels with Mansfield Park - How the Austens were impressed - Family portraits, anecdotes and stories - Local sightseeing - A feast of recollection Chapter Nine The Reverend at the Abbey Description of Stoneleigh Abbey - Repton's improvements - How the Leighs lost the Abbey and return to Adlestrop - James Henry Leigh & Julia spend a small fortune - A new peerage for their son, Chandos Leigh Chapter Ten A Bevy of Vicars: Clerical Connections Jane Austen's many clerical connections - Her fictional churchmen - How the Leighs & Austens worked 'the system' - Vocations or sinecures? - The Adlestrop Living - The March of Evangelism - The Cooper cousins Chapter Eleven Warren Hastings and Jane Austen Connections with Leighs & Austens - Warren Hastings' son - Philadelphia Austen travels to India - Rumours of an affair & a child by Hastings - Amazing life of Eliza - Hastings in India - Impeachment Trial - On acquittal rebuilds ancestral home at Daylesford - Eliza marries Jane's brother Henry Chapter Twelve Adlestrop Now Cotswolds now reinvented for tourism - Edward Thomas poem - Jane Austen's connections little known - Leigh family still major land and property owners - Village changes over the last two centuries Notes Bibliography Index
Victoria Huxley is an editor and publisher who has lived in Adlestrop for over twenty-five years. She is the co-author of World Heritage Sites of Great Britain and Ireland.