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Jane Austen and The Regency Period
Fans will love these themed Jane Austen writing prompts based on three of her most popular novels. Her stories take place in the 19th century during the historical period known as the Regency Era. While the actual Regency Era lasted from 1811 to 1820, many of the novels considered Regency-period works were written outside of this time frame. But because these works have a Regency feel, they often find themselves included in this genre.
Ms. Austen wrote her novels at the height of the Regency period. They exemplify the Regency novel in both feel and strict timeline interpretation. Austen is acclaimed as the master of Regency.
While Regency novels most often appeal to young women, look for ways to generate interest in young men, too. A focus on chivalry, male roles in history, and conversations about the rights of men and women can make the works a more interesting read for teen boys.
For the following Jane Austen writing prompts, step into the Regency world in which her famous characters lived! Share new insights and create possible endings to her most beloved novels.
1. Pride and Prejudice | Darcy and Elizabeth
The Background: Mr. Darcy is the lead male character in Pride and Prejudice. A wealthy landed gentleman, he sees sharp-witted Elizabeth Bennett as poor and uneducated. Because of the differences in their social status, he struggles with his feelings for her.
The Prompt: Get creative! Imagine a world where the roles and expectations of men and women are reversed. For example, what might it have been like if Mr. Darcy were poor and Elizabeth Bennett wealthy?
2. Sense and Sensibility | Elinor and Marianne
The Background: The reserved, practical, and self-aware Elinor is different in every way from her free-spirited, headstrong, and romantic sister Marianne. As Sense and Sensibility unfolds, the two learn that confiding in one another and fostering sisterly friendship will help them navigate romance and life choices.
The Prompt: Describe how having an honest friendship can help a person make wise choices.
3. Emma | Emma and Mr. Knightley
The Background: Emma, the novel’s main character, has a problem. She can’t stop meddling in the lives of her friends and family. Emma sees herself as a clever matchmaker who is always right. But this character flaw blinds her to the dangers of sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Mr. Knightley, her dearest friend, often reminds her of the bigger picture regarding the lives of those she tries to bring together. Unfortunately, Emma’s failure to listen to his wisdom costs her dearly.
The Prompt: Write a reflection essay about a time when listening to wisdom kept you from involving yourself in a situation that didn’t concern you.
If you enjoyed these themed Jane Austen writing prompts, you might also like these Shakespeare journal prompts and writing prompts about literature. Also, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
Looking for that perfect present? Our gift guide inspired by female authors includes a number of fun gift ideas for Jane Austen fans.