Bibliophile’s Book Find: “All Things Austen”

Hello again FSC community! I am very excited to share with you another gem in our Reference Collection at the Henry Whittemore Library. This week, please allow me to introduce to you, All Things Austen: An Encyclopedia of Austen’s World, written by Kirstin Olsen and published in 2005 by Greenwood Press (Westport, Conn). If you are a fan or researcher of Jane Austen’s work, this two volume encyclopedia is a must-read. In the introduction (pg. xi), the author writes this about the encyclopedia: “This book… attempts to provide the background material that makes her work more fully comprehensible.”

“Fully comprehensible”, indeed! This encyclopedia includes entries on “Beverages”, “Clothing”, “Insanity”, “Marriage”, “Teeth”, as well as many others. Discover why Austen rarely mentioned water as a beverage, (see page 76 of vol. 1 to find out!), or read about the dreaded “tooth-drawer”, a device that inspired terror in the minds of would-be dental patients (vol. 2 pg. 661). These volumes also include several historical illustrations and maps that bring to life the subjects and settings of Austen’s work.

All Things Austen inspired this Reference Librarian to perform silent jazz-hands of jubilation in the Reference stacks. Stop by the Reference Room, Room 118 on the ground floor of the Library. The call number for this encyclopedia is Ref PR 4036 O52 2005.

If you have any questions about this or any other resource, contact a Reference Librarian in person, by phone at 508-626-4654, by email at or IM at fscrefdesk. If you would like to suggest a treasure in the library’s Reference Room, please email me at


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