2. Austen loved fashion
Consider the loving detail lavished on Miss Tilney's romantic fixation on white muslin and the ensuing conversations about them in Northanger Abbey ("sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings"). Austen also often mentions sewing and clothing in her personal correspondence and the refurbishment of bonnets to suit new occasions, even once illustrating the patterns of lace in a cloak in a letter to sister Cassandra. "Our abuse of our gowns amuses but does not discourage me; I shall take mine to be made up next week, and the more I look at it the better it pleases me," Jane Austen wrote to her sister. "My cloak came on Tuesday, and, though I expected a good deal, the beauty of the lace astonished me. It is too handsome to be worn—almost too handsome to be looked at."
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