Perhaps Elizabeth interests me because she must have been a bit radical for her day. She belonged to a sisterhood of free-thinkers such as Florence Nightingale and Charlotte Bronte. Her friend, Charles Dickens, published "Cranford" in installments in the magazine "Household Words". It is the perfect book for reading in this serial form, because it is not one narrative, but individual stories of the women of Cranford.
One of the characters in the novel, Miss. Deborah Jenkyns, was the leader in understanding the strict code of gentility and the other women followed her example. Even after Miss. Deborah died, the women tried to figure out what she would do in any situation. The women were afraid that if they relaxed the rules, they would have no "society" at all.
On one of my trips with Bookwomen, we were staying in Bath and travelled to Lacock, an interesting town that has been preserved in the 19th century style. The town is known for the filming that is done there- including some of the Harry Potter movies.
The town was settled around the Lacock Abbey in the 13th century.