Following the somewhat distressing move by her family to Bath in 1801, Jane Austen was surprised one afternoon by the unexplained appearance of a penguin.

Occasionally known as Darcy, this curious companion became both friend and muse.

The front of each card illustrates a previously undocumented time in Jane Austen’s writing life accompanied by a fictionalised version of events for your amusement.

  • Jane Austen and the PenguinJane Austen and the PenguinQuick View
    • Jane Austen and the PenguinJane Austen and the PenguinQuick View
    • Jane Austen and the Penguin

    • In 1801, Jane and her family moved from rural Steventon to the City of Bath. From a tranquil life where she was able to write in peace, the transition was disliked and unasked for. Indeed, in a letter to her beloved sister Cassandra, Jane wrote - 'An extraordinary thing happened today. A penguin arrived at my side despite the hot…
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  • Lost for Words in Sydney GardensLost for Words in Sydney GardensQuick View
    • Lost for Words in Sydney GardensLost for Words in Sydney GardensQuick View
    • Lost for Words in Sydney Gardens

    • 4 Sydney Place Bath, 1801 Dearest Cassandra, I cannot write one inspired word here at our new address in Bath, so cruelly bereft of both your company and our pianoforte. I am convinced that it was not purchased for a child described by Father as- “and angel of the keys” but hammered to sticks for the fire by our brother…
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  • Gay Street PromenadeGay Street PromenadeQuick View
    • Gay Street PromenadeGay Street PromenadeQuick View
    • Gay Street Promenade

    • Today, I decided to leave the quiet confinement of our lodgings here on Gay Street, despite Bath’s unbearable September heat. Suffering a slight disorder of the stomach- (caused by consuming a considerably sized Sally Lunn’s bun on Cassandra’s plate in addition to my own)- I resolved to walk to Charlscombe, intending to ease some considerable discomfort. To my small companion…
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  • Just Call Me DarcyJust Call Me DarcyQuick View
    • Just Call Me DarcyJust Call Me DarcyQuick View
    • Just Call Me Darcy

    • The Ball at The Assembly Rooms this evening was quite entertaining- the penguin was standing alone behind a pillar! I shall be very happy to dance with you Sir, if you like it I said. Exhibited by my parents as a spinster of seven and twenty, with no means of my own save wit and pen, we will cause no…
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  • Oh! Mr Darcy!Oh! Mr Darcy!Quick View
    • Oh! Mr Darcy!Oh! Mr Darcy!Quick View
    • Oh! Mr Darcy!

    • 4 Sydney Place Bath, December 1802. Yesterday, to my amazement, Mr Harris Bigg-Wither of Manydown park offered me his hand in marriage! No! Of course not! I screamed- You kind, lumpen, rich, uneducated, landowning, unsuitable boy of only one and twenty. Dear reader, of course propriety wouldn’t allow such a cruel response. Yes- thank you Sir- I am honoured were…
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  • It’s “Twitter” Mr Darcy said Miss AustenIt’s “Twitter” Mr Darcy said Miss AustenQuick View
    • It’s “Twitter” Mr Darcy said Miss AustenIt’s “Twitter” Mr Darcy said Miss AustenQuick View
    • It’s “Twitter” Mr Darcy said Miss Austen

    • Shortly before moving to the restorative peace of Chawton Cottage in Hampshire, Jane Austen wrote a scathing letter to her publisher after waiting six years for a response to her manuscript for Susan- later called Northanger Abbey. Posting pseudonymously as Mrs Ashton Dennis, using the Twitter handle @MAD she confided to her friend (and unwittingly several thousand readers) #GenteelSeethingRage How…
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