Jane Austen Also Wrote Fake Wedding Notices

Her own included
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2017 7:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Her heroines may have found advantageous marriages, but Jane Austen never did. That's precisely why records detailing the Pride and Prejudice author's impending nuptials to two separate men are so remarkable, according to historians. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the British author's death, Hampshire Archives in the UK plans to showcase two fake marriage entries Austen is believed to have written in a register in her home parish of Steventon, England, where her father was rector, when she was only a teenager. The announcements of upcoming marriages, written in the late 18th century, identify Austen's apparent betrothed as Henry Fitzwilliam of London and Edmund Mortimer of Liverpool, reports AFP.

While it isn't clear if either man actually existed, Austen did strike up an early romance with Tom Lefroy, who would become Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. However, his family objected to the relationship—detailed in the 2007 film Becoming Jane—for financial reasons, reports History Extra. Austen is later said to have fallen in love with a clergymen who died or married someone else. She eventually accepted a proposal from Harris Bigg-Wither, the younger brother of friends, but reportedly rescinded her acceptance the next day. More than providing any romantic insight, the little-known marriage entries reveal "a mischievous side" to Austen, says a Hampshire rep. They will go on display in Winchester in May, reports the BBC. (Austen may have been poisoned.)

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