We may not think much about what our characters are eating, but Jane Austen did! In this article Writer’s Relief found on LitHub.com, Robert Tuesday Anderson reveals how Austen used the foods her characters ate, how much they ate, and how they balanced (or didn’t balance) food with exercise to round out her characters and reveal integral aspects of their personalities. For example, her characters Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse have healthy appetites to match their healthy egos, but they also like fresh air and long walks. Food can also be used to show negative character traits; for example, Mr. Hurst in Pride and Prejudice gives food too much importance in his daily life.
You can learn more about how Jane Austen used food to round out her characters—and how you can also use this technique while writing—by reading more here.