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Archive for the ‘Jane Austen’s House’ Category

Last night Monica Fairview (The Other Mr Darcy) and I went to the book launch of Dancing with Mr Darcy. If you haven’t heard about this book before it’s a selection of short stories inspired by Chawton and connections to Jane Austen. What is really worthwhile, I think, is that the proceeds of the book go back into Chawton House, which I’m sure you know was rescued, restored and turned into a library, which collects women’s literature from 1600 – 1830 by the fabulous lady Sandy Lerner.
The book started as a competition where anyone who felt inspired could submit their short story with a chance of being published. I’ve bought the book, and very good it is too – it was lovely to meet some of the authors – I now have a signed copy! We thought you’d enjoy seeing the pictures as so many of you who visit my blog live so far away. I’m always fascinated by the number of different countries that visitors to my blog come from – UK, America, Sweden, Italy, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Australia, Phillipines, Russia, Denmark, Canada, India, Africa – to name but a few. I know you would all have loved to have been there last night, so I hope this gives a flavour of the evening.
The wonderful author Sarah Waters introduced the book to us all, and then the winner, Victoria Owens treated us to a splendid reading of her story.
It was lovely to see Tom Carpenter from Jane Austen’s House again as I haven’t seen him for a while – there’s another lovely place to visit. A few of the stories have the house as their inspiration. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to go and visit Jane’s house you’ll know what an inspiring place it is to visit. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all – my congratulations to all involved – I wish you every success with the book and your future careers!

Photos:
The authors
Monica Fairview
Tom Carpenter and Jane Odiwe
Sarah Waters and Jane Odiwe

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Last night Monica Fairview (The Other Mr Darcy) and I went to the book launch of Dancing with Mr Darcy. If you haven’t heard about this book before it’s a selection of short stories inspired by Chawton and connections to Jane Austen. What is really worthwhile, I think, is that the proceeds of the book go back into Chawton House, which I’m sure you know was rescued, restored and turned into a library, which collects women’s literature from 1600 – 1830 by the fabulous lady Sandy Lerner.
The book started as a competition where anyone who felt inspired could submit their short story with a chance of being published. I’ve bought the book, and very good it is too – it was lovely to meet some of the authors – I now have a signed copy! We thought you’d enjoy seeing the pictures as so many of you who visit my blog live so far away. I’m always fascinated by the number of different countries that visitors to my blog come from – UK, America, Sweden, Italy, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Australia, Phillipines, Russia, Denmark, Canada, India, Africa – to name but a few. I know you would all have loved to have been there last night, so I hope this gives a flavour of the evening.
The wonderful author Sarah Waters introduced the book to us all, and then the winner, Victoria Owens treated us to a splendid reading of her story.
It was lovely to see Tom Carpenter from Jane Austen’s House again as I haven’t seen him for a while – there’s another lovely place to visit. A few of the stories have the house as their inspiration. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to go and visit Jane’s house you’ll know what an inspiring place it is to visit. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all – my congratulations to all involved – I wish you every success with the book and your future careers!

Photos:
The authors
Monica Fairview
Tom Carpenter and Jane Odiwe
Sarah Waters and Jane Odiwe

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…he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents would most suit her.

In chapter fifty of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet is beginning to think that she made a mistake when she turned down Mr Darcy’s proposal. Her feelings towards him have changed and she can only contemplate on the fact that if he knew of her heart’s transformation he would consider he had won a victory.

What a triumph for him, as she often thought, could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been gladly and gratefully received! He was as generous, she doubted not, as the most generous of his sex; but while he was mortal, there must be a triumph.

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance.

Here’s a card for Valentine’s Day. I hope you like it – it shows Jane Austen sitting at her little desk at Chawton cottage on her brother Edward Knight’s estate writing Pride and Prejudice. She’s nearly finished her novel and she’s enjoying a moment of triumph as she reads through the passage above. At any moment she may be covering her work when she hears the creaking door that tells her when someone is coming. Quick, Jane, I can hear someone coming. Oh, it’s only Cassandra and she knows exactly what you are doing. What a relief – there’s a little more time before anyone else will come downstairs, so hurry up and finish for all those generations of Janeites waiting to read your wonderful book.

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I’m thinking about my sister today, it’s her birthday. Happy Birthday Gaynor! Although we now live far apart, it’s easy for us to keep in touch by phone and e-mail. When you consider that people in Jane Austen’s day had only the post to maintain communication when they were apart, it’s difficult to appreciate how limiting that must have been, though I must admit that I still get a thrill when I receive a letter, especially when it comes from overseas.

Jane Austen enjoyed a very close relationship with her sister and it would seem that they both had a happy childhood.Their mother and father educated them at home until 1782 when they both went away to school with their cousin Jane Cooper. Cassandra was to go alone at first but Jane would not be parted from her and though only seven, went away to Oxford, to a Mrs Cawley.

Painting of Jane and Cassandra at their brother James’s wedding

There in the following year the school was struck by a terrible ‘putrid sore throat’ but Mrs Cawley decided not to inform parents. Jane Cooper wrote to her mother who arrived with her sister Mrs Austen, to take the girls home. Sadly, Mrs Cooper caught the infection and later died.
Finally, the girls attended the Abbey School at Reading.It seems the education here was very casual and relaxed. So long as the girls saw their tutor in the mornings, their afternoons were free. Imagine Jane’s excitement when her brother Edward and cousin Cooper were allowed to take the girls out to dinner at a local inn.

Drawing by Ellen G. Hill
Jane loved reading a wide range of literature including novels and poetry. She could read French and some Italian, play the piano, sing and dance. Her embroidery and sewing skills were excellent; some examples of her handiwork can still be seen at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

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I’m thinking about my sister today, it’s her birthday. Happy Birthday Gaynor! Although we now live far apart, it’s easy for us to keep in touch by phone and e-mail. When you consider that people in Jane Austen’s day had only the post to maintain communication when they were apart, it’s difficult to appreciate how limiting that must have been, though I must admit that I still get a thrill when I receive a letter, especially when it comes from overseas.

Jane Austen enjoyed a very close relationship with her sister and it would seem that they both had a happy childhood.Their mother and father educated them at home until 1782 when they both went away to school with their cousin Jane Cooper. Cassandra was to go alone at first but Jane would not be parted from her and though only seven, went away to Oxford, to a Mrs Cawley.

Painting of Jane and Cassandra at their brother James’s wedding

There in the following year the school was struck by a terrible ‘putrid sore throat’ but Mrs Cawley decided not to inform parents. Jane Cooper wrote to her mother who arrived with her sister Mrs Austen, to take the girls home. Sadly, Mrs Cooper caught the infection and later died.
Finally, the girls attended the Abbey School at Reading.It seems the education here was very casual and relaxed. So long as the girls saw their tutor in the mornings, their afternoons were free. Imagine Jane’s excitement when her brother Edward and cousin Cooper were allowed to take the girls out to dinner at a local inn.

Drawing by Ellen G. Hill
Jane loved reading a wide range of literature including novels and poetry. She could read French and some Italian, play the piano, sing and dance. Her embroidery and sewing skills were excellent; some examples of her handiwork can still be seen at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

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I hope you have all enjoyed the Pride and Prejudice adaptation that has just finished on TV in the US. I loved this version and I thought Julia Sawalha was a fantastic Lydia, petulant and precocious but still managing to be very funny! Adrian Lukis was perfect for Wickham too, just the right combination of charm and charisma to convince us in the beginning that he is an ideal partner for Lizzy but also imbued with a certain sleaziness, which soon shows us his true character. Poor Lydia cannot see this and believes herself to be in love with him. Whatever her faults, I could not let Lydia be miserable with Mr Wickham for the rest of her life – I had to find a happy ending for her in Lydia Bennet’s Story!
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet was a wonderful Lizzy and I’m sure most will agree that Colin Firth is unsurpassed as Mr Darcy. I think the on screen chemistry between these two is what sparked so many web sites, blogs and sequels to Pride and Prejudice in the years since its first airing. I remember talking to Ann Channon at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton when this adaptation first came out. She said that the building could scarcely cope with the huge numbers of people that wanted to find out more about the author who had written Pride and Prejudice; they were inundated with visitors. One entry in the visitor’s book made Ann laugh-they noted the house was very nice but asked ‘where is Mr Darcy?’

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I hope you have all enjoyed the Pride and Prejudice adaptation that has just finished on TV in the US. I loved this version and I thought Julia Sawalha was a fantastic Lydia, petulant and precocious but still managing to be very funny! Adrian Lukis was perfect for Wickham too, just the right combination of charm and charisma to convince us in the beginning that he is an ideal partner for Lizzy but also imbued with a certain sleaziness, which soon shows us his true character. Poor Lydia cannot see this and believes herself to be in love with him. Whatever her faults, I could not let Lydia be miserable with Mr Wickham for the rest of her life – I had to find a happy ending for her in Lydia Bennet’s Story!
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet was a wonderful Lizzy and I’m sure most will agree that Colin Firth is unsurpassed as Mr Darcy. I think the on screen chemistry between these two is what sparked so many web sites, blogs and sequels to Pride and Prejudice in the years since its first airing. I remember talking to Ann Channon at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton when this adaptation first came out. She said that the building could scarcely cope with the huge numbers of people that wanted to find out more about the author who had written Pride and Prejudice; they were inundated with visitors. One entry in the visitor’s book made Ann laugh-they noted the house was very nice but asked ‘where is Mr Darcy?’

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