Time for a Walk?

Time for a Walk?


Spring is coming. It hasn’t quite hit Chicago yet, but a few flowers are defying the cold and promising good color and warm days ahead. And I’m finally getting back to walking. Years ago, I was a runner. I loved pounding out miles in any weather, but a back injury in 2014 ended that for me. Now I walk – and I’ve come to love it. 

There’s a certain peace, cadence and pleasure in walking. I also love how it is featured continually in Austen novels. Yes, walking keeps the figures “light and pleasing” and ma very well show us off to our “best advantage” — but so much else that is good occurs on a long walk. 

Think of all the walking moments in Austen. Her novels would not be the same without them and here are just a few of the walks within Pride and Prejudice:


Walks to Meryton

Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield with a petticoat “six inches in mud” 

Countless walks around Rosings

Darcy meets Elizabeth on the path at Pemberley

Darcy and Elizabeth get engaged on a walk

Darcy and Elizabeth walk again the next day and revisit the past 


Of course that’s not the only novel with good walks… Persuasion is another favorite of mine. I adore the walk in which Wentworth knows Anne is tired and hands her into the curricle to join his sister and brother. That might be my all-time favorite “walking” scene.

What is yours? 

6 Responses to Time for a Walk?

  1. I love to walk with my dog too! We are best buds! My favorite walk is Elizabeth walking to Netherfield. I think she was very determined and brave to go unaccompanied .Women are supposed to be accompanied aren’t they?

  2. And think of all of the walks poor Fanny Price had to endure to fetch this, that, and the other from Mrs. Norris’ cottage, only to be chastised for not returning quickly enough. Ugh!! I really can’t stand Mrs. Norris!!

    ~Susanne 🙂

  3. My favorite walk is in Chapter 58 of Pride and Prejudice. It starts out awkwardly with Elizabeth trying to find a way to thank Darcy for rescuing Lydia (and her family’s reputation) and ends with them walking and talking for hours. During their walk Darcy spoke some of Austen’s most romantic and memorable lines:

    “I believe I thought only of you.”
    “My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”
    “It taught me to hope,” said he, “as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before.”
    He told her of feelings, which, in proving of what importance she was to him, made his affection every moment more valuable.

    Sigh I never get tired of reading about Darcy and Lizzy’s walk!

  4. I love to walk, and to ride my bike with my dog, but I’ve never been a runner. It always amazes me that anyone can be.

    I think getting engaged on walks is a signature Jane Austen move 🙂

  5. I totally agree with you about the walk in Persuasion. When Capt. Wentworth procures a ride for Anne, it shows that not only has he been aware of her all this time (even though he tries to ignore her), but also that he can’t bear to see her suffer. He even helps her into the gig himself. Very romantic.

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