for a full list of activity, including reviews, talks, ideas — see THE AUTHOR

2Teens_coverTwo Teens in the Time of Austen
Random Jottings, 2008-2015
*NEW: Updated & Expanded*

cover-twoteensTwo Teens in the Time of Austen
Random Jottings, 2008-2013
(Kindle only)

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  • “Edward Austen’s Emma Reads Emma,” in Persuasions (The Jane Austen Journal), vol. 29 (2007), pp. 234-239. The diaries of Emma Smith note some key moments in her courtship with James-Edward Austen, including their jointly reading his Aunt Jane’s novel Emma in the days surrounding their engagement. Had Emma Smith any of the qualities of Austen’s heroine Emma Woodhouse?
  • “Before She Became Fanny Seymour, Parson’s Wife,” Local Past, Journal of the Alcester and District Historical Society (Warwickshire, England), June 2008 (vol. 4, No. 1), pp. 3-5. Based on the lecture “Becoming Fanny Seymour,” this article traces the girlhood of Fanny Smith (younger sister of Emma Austen-Leigh) prior to her marriage with the Rev. Richard Seymour. READ this article here: localpast_fanny1-june08.
  • “‘Fanny I am thankful to say continues going on very well’,” Local Past, Journal of the Alcester and District Historical Society, December 2008 (vol. 4, No. 2), pp. 4-6. The first year of marriage brings Fanny Seymour joy and tragedy, and during it all she is bolstered by her beloved sister, Emma Austen.
  • “Derbyshires Corresponding: Elizabeth Bennet and the Austen Tour of 1833,” Persuasions, vol. 30 (2008), pp. 149-158. The starting point is Jane Austen’s own narration of Elizabeth Bennet’s fateful journey into Derbyshire with Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in summer 1812; using diaries and letters, Emma Austen’s tour of the same county twenty-one years later points up the tourist possibilities and problems which Pride & Prejudice’s narrator claimed were ‘too well known’ to need mention. JASNA has made this article available online.
  • “Pemberley’s Welcome, Or,  An Historical Conjecture Upon Elizabeth Darcy’s Wedding Journey,”Persuasions On-Line, Winter 2009. This issue appeared on Jane Austen’s Birthday – December 16th, which also marked the 181st wedding anniversary of Emma and Edward Austen-Leigh. Examine what parallels the marriage of Emma’s cousin Lord Compton and his Scottish bride in 1815 may have upon the Wedding Journey of Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy. Illustrated.
  • “A Golden Time” – Emma Smith meets the Knyvett family of musicians, Jane Austen’s Regency World, vol. 44; March/April 2010, pp. 40-43. A short, biographical look at the four Knyvetts: father Charles Knyvett Senior, sons Charles and William, and William’s second wife Deborah Travis. Emma Smith met them all! Diary excerpts penned by young Emma highlight the article. Illustrated by a beautiful chalk portrait of Emma, thought to have been done by Mrs Margaret Carpenter.
  • “Correspondence Culture”Jane Austen’s Regency World, vol.  51; May/June 2011, pp. 42-47. Nothing is more personal than a hand-written letter. Imagine life without your email, Blackberry, or iphone by following some Jane Austen letters through the post!
  • “Portrait of a Lady: Maria Lady Culme Seymour (1814-1887), in The Chronicle, Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society; 2012, pp. 58-59. A brief portrait of the second wife — Emma’s youngest sister — of Sir John Hobart Culme Seymour, Rector of Berkhamsted, Rector of Northchurch, Prebendary of Lincoln, Canon of Gloucester, and Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria.
  • A Mother’s Advice to Her Daughter,” in The Chronicle, Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society; 2013, pp. 43-46. Would your mother be this candid, if she kept a journal about your youth? Mamma Smith evidently wrote about all her children as they grew up – her joys – her disappointments. The original Maria’s “baby” journal makes for fascinating reading.
  • A ‘Reputation for Accomplishment’: Marianne Dashwood and Emma Woodhouse as Artistic Performers,” in NatashaDuquette and Elisabeth Lenckos (eds.), Elegance, Propriety, Harmony: Jane Austen and Aesthetics (Lehigh University Press); (ebook) November 2013 / (hard cover) December 2013.
  • *on KINDLE*: Two Teens in the Time of Austen: Random Jottings, 2008-2013. Lightly-edited and highly-rearranged blog posts. Provides an “introduction” to the Smith & Gosling family — and this research project. BONUS: Unseen portraits of Emma & Mary, along with a preview of the first chapter.
  • The Diaries of Tring Park,” The Chronicle, Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society; 2014, pp. 51-54. What might diaries & letters reveal about a house and its long-ago inhabitants? This short article tells tales of the Smiths during their years (1828-1834) at Tring Park (now Tring Park School for the Performing Arts) in Hertfordshire, England.
  • Margaret Meen: A Life in Four Letters, published as “Flowering in Four Letters,” Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine; July/August 2014, pp. 39-44. Can truly call this article the truest biography (though short) of the botanical artist MARGARET MEEN (c1752-1832). Her watercolors are primarily collected at Kew and the Lindley Library, Royal Horticultural Society.
  • “Heavenly Music: An Organ for Tring Church,” The Chronicle, Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society; 2016, pp. 39-40. Emma Austen’s ‘unmarried sisters’ gifted an organ to their parish church at Tring in 1832. Does it exist still? This short article lays out some of the evidence.


OnLine Articles (exclusive to

Related JASNA News articles:

  • “This Delightful Habit of Journalizing,” Spring 2010 (vol. 26, no. 1). Little did I know, when I wrote this, that I would be offered Augusta Smith’s 1798 diary — hitherto unknown to exist — in May 2010.
  • “Lost and Found: A Diary from the Circle of Austen Neighbors,” Summer 2010 (vol. 26, no.2).  Announces to the JASNA community the “discovery” of a 1798 diary, penned by young Augusta Smith (Mrs Charles Smith), now in the possession of the Woodfords of Illinois.
  • “Love and Marriage: A Diary from the Circle of Austen Neighbors,” Fall 2010 (vol. 26, no.3). Part II in the series. Augusta’s diary is so much more than just facts of her life; learn how Austen’s Pride and Prejudice helps to explain a contemporaneous diary!
  • “Home and Abroad: A Diary from the Circle of Austen Neighbors,” Spring 2011 (vol. 27, no.1). Part III (last) in the series. Focuses on Ireland (home of Tom Lefroy) and France (home to cousin Eliza de Feuillade) in 1798.
  • “Last Night’s Diversion & Nice Little Ball,” in JASNA News, Summer 2011 (vol. 27, no.2). Emma Smith’s early diaries reveal the secrets of a “London Season, circa 1816″.  NOW: Hear the article presented via YouTube!
  • “In the Shadow of James Edward Austen,” in JASNA News, Summer 2015 (vol. 32, no.2). With photos (thanks, Mike) of Tring Park, Tring Church & Wigginton Church.


In Manuscript:

  • with Alan Godfrey. The Seymours of Kinwarton (a fundraiser for the church of St. Mary, Kinwarton, Warwickshire, England). A look at the early life of Fanny Seymour née Smith, from young girl to new wife; Mr Godfrey concentrates on Rev. Richard Seymour, Vicar of Kinwarton and Great Alne (Warwickshire). St. Mary’s was Richard’s primary parish, which he served until the 1870s. Lady Smith’s two daughters raised funds for new service books the Christmas of 1847; and brother-in-law Arthur Currie gifted a chancel window. Several family inscriptions can be found within the church. Fanny and Richard are buried in Kinwarton.
  • Chasing Jane Austen: Women’s Writing & Female Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century. The “London Season” (important to Sense and Sensibilty); the Royal Family (think: Emma‘s dedication to the Prince of Wales); the “Lady of the Manor (what’s Pride and Prejudice without Lady Catherine de Bourgh?!); and that ever present topic of conversation: the English Weather. All such topics are cover, in spades, in the diaries and letters of the extended Smith & Gosling family.

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Interested in reading an unedited research diary? Yes, I keep diaries myself! And in 2007 I lived near Winchester, England for two months. An “American in Paris” it isn’t, but I trust it also won’t put you to sleep.

Winchester, England May-July 2007

  • Part I: My Austen Summer; Depart Vermont (May 16)-May 18
  • Part II: My Austen Summer: May 19-May 22
  • Part III: My Austen Summer: May 23-May 27
  • Part IV: My Austen Summer: May 28-June1
  • [more installments to come]
  • 2015 note: the site this memoir was on has been taken down; I’ll re-upload the manuscripts as time allows

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