Jane Austen’s Persuasion (1818) contains a surprising amount of social walking and leisurely walking parities undertaken by Anne Elliot and her upper-class compatriots. Viewed through an Austenian lens, a reflection of the walk highlights the similarities and differences between nineteenth-century and post-millennial walking for pleasure. What is the cultural history of nineteenth-century pedestrianism in England, and why was it so important in literature and polite society alike? What, then, is the walk? Why indulge in a stroll, a promenade, or a pastoral ramble? How does this sociocultural pedestrianism reinforce the distinction between the classes? Perhaps Austen’s walk, both an exercise in active networking and comfortable independence, is not as far removed from me as I once suspected.
Recommended Citation / Citation recommandée
"What, then, is the Walk?: Reflecting on Pedestrianism in Jane Austen’s Persuasion."
The Goose, vol. 20
, article 36,