Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jane Austen



In honor of Jane Austen's death 200 years ago,  I'd like to take you back to Chawton.  Her last home. 





 Today is the last day of our wonderful adventure in the beautiful English countryside.  We have had a wonderful visit to England!  It has been nearly perfect for us.  We have seen and done more than one could imagine.  Today there is enough time to see Jane Austen's home in Chawton before we get back on the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton this afternoon.  Come along with us as we visit the last home of Jane Austen in the village of Chawton.




Jane Austen lived in this house with her mother, and sister Cassandra, from 1809 until 1817.  Jane revised her manuscript for Sense and SensibilityPride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey and wrote Mansfield Park and Emma and Persuasion while living in this home.








After buying our tickets we are directed to the back of the house to see the Bakehouse.


Bakehouse

We then watched a short movie about the life of Jane Austen and then went around the side to see the kitchen.  Here are our clothes to put on while we work in the kitchen.






After working in the kitchen we need to go outside and see some of the garden before we enter the home.  It's a sunny warm day to enjoy walking around the lovely gardens that surround the home.








I'm looking forward to seeing the home of such an accomplished writer.  Of course, she received much more acclaim after her death, as is the case of so many writers.




"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." Jane Austen





 I love this chaise lounge in the drawing room of the home!  The wallpaper throughout the home is Laura Ashley.  It's not original to Jane Austen's time.  Here is a framed piece of some of the original wallpaper.




Also in the front parlor is a piano.  Jane entertained her family by playing pianoforte and reading to them.  Jane continued to take piano lessons well into her twenties which speaks to her love of music.  She often rose early to practice.  Like the characters she wrote about, Jane was an accomplished pianst.




In the parlor we see Jane's desk (table) she used to write her novels!  It's so small!!  I can't begin to imagine using this to write on!




“It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
 Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility





Going upstairs we see the bedroom of Jane and her sister Cassandra.  The two sisters were very close.  Cassandra must have been devastated when Jane passed away at the age of forty one.




Cassandra's Sampler

Wash basin and chamber pot that is housed in closet 

Laura Ashley Wallpaper

In the Admiral's bedroom there is a red and white quilt top on the bed.  Jane's brothers were in the Royal Navy.  Francis Austen became Admiral of the Fleet and was knighted by King William IV.





This amazing quilt was stitched by Jane, Cassandra and her mother.  Although the quilt is really a coverlet as it only has a top and bottom.  The pieces were made from material of their nieces cotton clothing.  The Caen lace shawl belonged to their niece, Fanny Knight.




The coverlet is behind glass and is no longer on Jane's bed.  If you are a quilter you will really appreciate the border and its intricacies!  They are so tiny!

Here are a couple pieces of Jane's jewelry that are displayed in cases.




The bracelet is so delicate and lovely.  It was passed down through the family.




Jane received the topaz cross from her brother Charles in 1801.  Jane was inspired to write about it in Mansfield Park as the amber cross Fanny Price receives from her brother.

Jane Austen's health became so bad that she had to seek medical care in Winchester.  It is believed she suffered with Addison's disease.  Sadly she passed away soon thereafter.  She was buried in Winchester Cathedral.  There is a copy of the inscription that is at Winchester.




There is also a plaque at Westminster Abbey in memory of Jane in Poets Corner.

JANE AUSTEN 1775 1817

She was the daughter of a country clergyman, George Austen, and his wife Cassandra (Leigh) and was born at the rectory at Steventon in Hampshire on 16 December 1775. In her books she portrayed the society and manners of the life to which she belonged: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. The family later moved to Bath and after her father's death she lived in the village of Chawton. Although she had several suitors Jane never married. She died in Winchester on 18 July 1817.




As we are leaving Jane's home we see this charming cottage next door!




Cassandra's Cup Tearoom and Bistro is across the street from Jane's home.  I wish we could go for a cup of tea, but we have a ship we need to board!










32 comments:

  1. I enjoyed seeing Jane's house again through your eyes and commentary. It's amazing a woman who lived so long ago is still making such an impact on the world and her writings so loved by many. I wonder what she would think!

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    1. Dotsie, her writings are timeless and so endearing. I wonder the same as she really didn't get recognition until her death. The fate of most writers and artists. ♥

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  2. It was the book Sense and Sensibility that brought me into the Jane Austen fold. Her writing is so clever. It must have been wonderful to see the house where she did so much of her writing that we're familiar with. Thank you.

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    1. Judy, when we were at Chawton, as we walked through the home on the same floor she walked, I was full of emotion. Her presence was there....♥

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  3. A most interesting post... How wonderful that you were there.

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    1. Vee, it was an honor to walk where Jane Austen lived and worked. ♥

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  4. Oh my gosh...I bet you had an awesome time. I used to tour older homes around the Nashville area. I used to work at the Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson. Have not been to any in years.

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    1. Pam, I've never been to the Hermitage. That must have been wonderful working there. ♥

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  5. Although I remember you posting about the Jane Austen sites before, there was so much that I had forgotten, including the tiny desk on which she wrote! Like you, I cannot imagine how she did it.

    It is poignant to see the "daily" things of her life, knowing what an impact she made on the world. Thanks for sharing these scenes from your trip. I'll bet these moments live on in your memories!

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    1. Revisiting Chawton certainly reminds me of our wonderful trip to England. Jane Austen's life was so unusual for her time. She left quite a gift to all of her readers that amazingly lives on today. ♥

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  6. Oh my word, Martha Ellen - thank you for sharing this! What a wonderful trip you have shared with us. Thank you so much. Hope your journey home has been safe.

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    1. Thank you Michele. Since it was the 200th anniversary of her death, I thought I would honor her by posting our visit to Chawton 2 years ago. ♥

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  7. Beautifully written and photographic account of your wonderful visit, and such memories you made on that trip, indeed. I love the bake house ~ why, it even has one of those new fangled pizza ovens! lol How the wheels of fashion turn.
    Did you know Jane Austen is being honoured by being the image on the {controversial} new £10.00 note coming out in September? I understand she is already one of the designs of the new £1.00 coin {which resembles an old, threepenny bit!}
    You must be in a cloud of utter blissful delight and joy as you revisit your dream holiday!
    ~~~Deb xoxo

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    1. I've been reading about the controversial 10 pound note, Deb. It would be exciting to collect one and also the 1 pound coin. I understand she and the Queen are the only women ever to have such an honor!
      It is quite exciting to revisit our adventure. I often do that and dream of returning one day. xoxo ♥

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  8. Oh, Martha Ellen! What a wonderful visit you had! Thank you for revisiting Jane Austin's home with us. I hope that one day I may see it with my very own eyes! Sending love...xoxo

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    1. Rosinda, I know you would appreciate Chawton. It's a very special home indeed. The English countryside has many treasures to see. Sending love to you, my friend. xoxo ♥

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  9. This is so interesting to be able to view inside Jane Austen's last home!

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    1. Pilar I'm glad you enjoyed it. It is quite special. ♥

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  10. Just lovely, dear Martha Ellen! You are such a wonderful tour guide. :) Jane Austen's tiny writing desk always tugs at my heartstrings... and fills me with inspiration! Heartfelt thanks! ♡

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    1. Jane Austen's home is so touching and lovely, Dawn. Her desk is a reminder that the writer needs very little to produce heartfelt works. Thank you always for your kind words, my sweet friend. ♥

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  11. Martha Ellen, what a wonderful tour of Jane Austen's house. The Bakerhouse is charming, and I love the brick in her kitchen. It reminds me so much of the brick my mom had in her kitchen growing up. I really like the hanging copper pots as well. The gardens are lovely, so green and groomed. That desk has such a beautiful wood. That was sweet that she played the piano for her family. The red and white quilt is so charming. My sister quilts, so she would appreciate all the detail that went into this quilt.

    This was very interesting, Martha Ellen, and I'm going to send Nel over here, as she's a book lover and has probably read some of her books.

    ~Sheri

    ps love that quote "there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort"........that is so true. : )

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    1. Thank you, Sheri. Jane Austen is beloved by many generations of readers. I hope you will pick up one of her works and enjoy her world. Maybe you could rent one of her works in movie form. I hope Nel stops by. Have a nice evening, my friend. ♥

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us! I loved getting a glimpse into her home... I just love her writings. Have a wonderful evening.

    Blessings,
    Jill

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    1. Thank you, Jill. It was an honor to visit Jane Austen's last home. Blessings to you as well. ♥

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  13. Ashamed to admit that I am not a book reader and don't know her works. I enjoyed the tour of her home and I'm envious of your travels abroad. I don't like flying and considered taking a transatlantic voyage to get over to Europe but so far that hasn't been a reality.

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    1. Liz, a transatlantic voyage is the way to go to Europe. Even though flying is much quicker, a voyage is a lot more civilized. Ha. We enjoyed the leisurely pace of our days and getting spoiled wasn't too bad either. I recommend it highly over flying. ♥

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  14. How I would love a voyage rather than a flight.
    That coverlet is amazing and so intricate as you say.
    I love the kitchen and just wondering what the bowl there was filled with, looks like a dark grain maybe?
    A fine brick home, a handome place. How wonderful it must have felt to be there among history of such an accomplished writer. I will have to research more about a voyage instead of a plane.
    Thank you for such an interesting post.

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    1. Thank you, Betsy. I'm not sure what was in the bowl, but I think it was lavender buds. There were lots of dried herbs in the kitchen that day.
      We really prefer travelling by ship to the other side of the pond. If you have the time, it's wonderful. ♥

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  15. Thank you for this! I was there a few years ago and I LOVED it. Jane Austen rule!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I'm so glad you have been to the home of Miss Austen, Amalia. It's such a peaceful and endearing place. Long live her beautiful works! xo ♥

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  16. What a lovely tour, I enjoyed my visit through your photo's and words.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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