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Houses play a significant role in every one of Jane Austen‘s novels. In fact, they are often at the center of the conflict. There is a reason why two of her six novels are named after houses, after all. Think about it: many pivotal points involve a private home in one way or another. Northanger Abbey is self-explanatory: so many of Catherine’s misadventures happened because she believed that something sinister was afoot. So is Mansfield Park: the entire plot revolves around Fanny being acutely aware that this is not her house.
In Pride and Prejudice, it is Bingley renting Netherfield that kickstarts the entire story. Caroline’s insistence on Charles buying a house in Derbyshire isn’t simply a matter of wanting to be close to Darcy: she’s eager to leave the family’s history of trade behind and make the leap into landed gentry. Elizabeth, for the first time, feels “something like regret” when she first visits Pemberley.
In Sense and Sensibility, finding Barton Cottage enables the Dashwoods to leave John and Fanny, despite mourning Norland Park. Elinor and Edward are finally able to marry when Brandon offers him a position as parson — one that comes with a parsonage. Emma and Persuasion, although to a lesser extent, also feature important plot points surrounding Hartfield and Kellynch Hall respectively.
So I asked myself, where should I live out of all Austen houses? Pemberley? Barton Cottage? Hartfield? Well, what better way than a quiz to find out? I chose only one house per book, the one that I felt was most representative of the story. Where would you land?
Pemberley: Like Elizabeth Bennet, you’d appreciate the classic elegance of the house and the natural beauty of the grounds.
Northanger Abbey: You like dark academia, gothic novels, and can’t resist an old house with hidden nooks. Northanger Abbey is the house for you.
Barton Cottage: Although its roof is tiled and the window shutters aren’t green, you’ll love this cozy cottage. There’s no better spot to curl up with a book or enjoy a storm. Learn from Marianne Dashwood’s mistakes though: enjoy the storm from inside.
Mansfield Park: You’re a traditionalist who appreciates classic architecture and a more formal design style. Mansfield Park is just the thing for you.
Hartfield: This manor is fairly close to its neighbors, so you can satisfy both your fabulous tastes and the need to meddle in other people’s lives. Be sure to lock up the chickens though: as rumor has it, several poultry-houses in the neighborhood have been robbed lately.
Kellynch Hall: You’ll be drawn to this beautiful ancestral house in which the only negative are the inhabitants (minus the middle daughter). One look at this place and you’ll be persuaded to love it.
Are you in the mood for more Jane Austen quizzes? Happy to oblige.