Emma Austen to Jane Lefroy

Jane Austen connections.

Emma Austen to Jane Lefroy

January 28, 2013, was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The Priaulx Library has only one item in its collection directly connected with Jane Austen, a slim volume, The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans, published in 1827 by John Murray, which was given by Emma Austen, née Smith, to her half-sister-in-law, Jane Anne Elizabeth Lefroy, née Austen.

Jane Anne, sometimes known as Anna, was born in 1793; she was Jane Austen's neice, the first daughter of the author's brother, James, by his first wife Anne Mathew. After Anne died in 1795, James married Mary Lloyd; their son James Edward Austen-Leigh was therefore Jane Anne's half-brother. He married Emma Smith in 1828. Jane Anne was married to Benjamin Lefroy, b. 1791, a cousin of the Tom Lefroy with whom Jane Austen famously dallied in her youth. So Jane Anne and Emma were newish sisters-in-law.

Emma Smith (1801-1876) is the subject of an extensive online study, Two Teens in the Time of Austen, which features portraits of both Emma and Jane Anne Lefroy. Emma was the sister of Sarah Eliza Smith, wife of Denis Le Marchant, son of Major-General Gaspard Le Marchant.

Anna Lefroy; Lefroy memorials at Ashe; Letters of Mrs Lefroy

The book itself seems to have formed part of the personal militaria collection of our first Librarian, Major Percy Groves.