TeaAtTrianon links to a RadioTimes article about Jane Austen's time as a poor relation.
In Austen’s story, (Mansfield Park), Fanny, a poor relation, gets adopted by her wealthy aunt and uncle, and goes to live with them in their grand but unwelcoming mansion.
One of Austen’s brothers was likewise adopted by rich relations, which catapulted him out of the family of a country clergyman, and into the landed gentry far above. Austen would often go to stay with her brother Edward in his new home, the magnificent Godmersham Park in Kent. ... But there are hints that she felt out of place at Godmersham Park. A travelling hairdresser who came to the house, for example, would charge Austen only half-price for a cut, because of her “poverty”.
In return, members of the Godmersham family described Austen as “very much below par as to good society & its ways”see this film for more: