The Doors

Annotation Types

Each Annotation link has one of three superscripts, w, h, or d. These identify the type of annotation and help you decide which annotations you wish to view.

X [w] scud

Driving, forceful blast.

X [w] quiz


The earlier noun "quiz" meant "oddity" or "curiosity." The verb means to make fun of someone as that. Thorpe's use here in quick succession may suggest the word was part of the college man's vocabulary, enriched by the fact that Thorpe himself qualifies as a supreme oddity.  

X [w] eclat

Ostentatious display, though here connoting a scandal.

X [w] curricle


Equivalent to the old Jaguar XKE or Austin-Healey, an open, light, precariously high, and sporty two-wheeled, two-seater, generally two-horse vehicle, the favored chariot of young men and of the Prince Regent.

X [h] governess


Miss Taylor was an unusually fortunate governess in being viewed as a member of the family and a "friend." She's again lucky to find a husband and one who is an agreeable gentleman with a small esstate and money enough to provide her with horses and carriage, conspicuous signs of affluence.…

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X [h] the slave-trade

Daily Life

Among Britain's great Parliamentary achievements following decades of agitation on behalf of abolition was  to make illegal in 1807 the transport of slaves on British ships. The success of Abolitionism was a bell-wether of liberalizing and humanizing tendencies that would culminate in Catholic Emancipation in 1829 (the removal of civil disabilities constraining Catholics)  and the First Reform Bill in 1832. …

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X [d] it is memory


Fanny's wonder at the nature of memory associates her with the Romantics, whose own interest originates in 18th-c. psychology's attempts to explain how memory works, the physiology as well as the psychology. Memory—not just recollection but the active interweaving of the past with the present—becomes a distinguishing feature of some Romantic literature. Mary's indifference to memor…

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X [h] the Crescent


They will enjoy the open, park-like grounds of the Royal Crescent, completed in 1774. Designed by John Wood the Younger, the Crescent is a large half-circle of thirty private but barely distinguishable individual homes facing upon a large, manicured green.…

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X [d] Yes, novels

Writing & Reading

This passage has an edgy personal note to it, for Austen, in an uncommon departure, uses the first-person singular. 

It's no surprise that Catherine is an ardent novel reader, and no compliment to the form that the shallow Isabella is. But Austen, a realistic novelist, is not going to say that young women such as Catherine and Isabella …

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X [w] eclat

Ostentatious display, though here connoting a scandal.

X [d] he could not conceive an angel more beautiful

Writing & Reading

This is a subtle instance of what is called free indirect discourse, a feature of narration Austen helped develop and perfect. The sentiment and diction are not hers but Bingley's and encapsulate what he's said to Darcy or his sisters. Austen herself would not be guilty of describing someone as "an angel more beautiful." That is Bingley's cliché.

The annotations vary in length from one or two words to brief essays that provide background or interpretation. But however extensive the annotation, the most relevant material appears at the opening. Proportionally more annotations occur in the novel's early chapters. Images accompany some of the annotations. Incidentally, no annotation anticipates the plot and so does not jeopardize the ambiguity and suspense the author imparts to the fiction.


If you've tried the annotations, you may have noticed that many also appear in a category ("curricle" within "Transportation," and "internal persuasions" within "Writing & Reading"). These include Amusements, the Arts, the Body, Custom & Law, Daily Life, Gender, Love & Marriage, Mind, Money, Places, Religion, Transportation, and Reading & Writing. The intent is to streamline the Search function.


All words and terms used by an author that the annotations define become part of a glossary for that author. To open it, go to the Content Search; select "Glossary" in the drop-down menu.   


The search engine is fast and versatile. The filters you choose allow you to search the author's text(s), the annotations, or both together. You may search the novels themselves for words or names or explore by type of annotation (w, h, or d) and/or by individual category (Military, Religion, etc.). Should you wish to collect and read all of a chapter’s annotations before or after you read the chapter, you can go to use the "Quick Links" menu in the right hand column of any book. The "Annotations for Chapter" link will display the current chapters annotations in the search.

Author's Page: Supplementary Material.

You'll find there a brief "Biographical Sketch of Austen and a chronology, Austen in Her Time. The time-line begins in 1770, five years before Austen's birth, and proceeds through 1817 and contains notable cultural, historical, and military events in England and on the Continent, as well as scientific and technological advances. Matter directly relevant to Jane Austen appears in bold type. In addition you'll find a Selected Bibliography and a list of Major Characters in each novel.