Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Day 3: Chawton and Winchester
Today was an extremely special day as we explored several amazing places so close to the life of Jane Austen.
We first visited the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, a small village in Hampshire where Jane, her mother and her sister Cassandra lived for eight years prior to her death. These were her most prolific years for writing and revising the manuscripts she had written years earlier.
Very pretty flowers
And the resident cat.
I was very excited to be here.
The cottage is quite small and now houses many personal items from the Austen family.
This is the front sitting room. The wall paper has recently been replaced in a reproduction taken from a fragment of paper found in the room.
This is the tiny desk upon which so much genius was written. I am still excited.
Here is a closeup of the new wallpaper.
Original table service of the Austen/Knight family.
This is the view of the garden from the sitting room. Just lovely.
These are the original topaz crosses given to Jane and Cassandra by one of their brothers.
Jane's bedroom with a replica tent bed.
A copy of the only known portrait of Jane Austen, drawn by her sister.
And then to see the quilt! Just such an amazing experience. Much more of the quilt is on display than when I was here last. It is a masterpiece of planning, stitching and symmetry.
We then listened to a fabulous detailed talk by Sue Dell about the design, stitching and history of the quilt.
This certainly was a highlight of our tour so far!
We then drove nearby to visit the Chawton House Library which was owned by Jane's brother Edward, who was adopted by the Knight family. This beautiful house was the location of the filming of the documentary which recreated the Netherfield Ball.
We were treated to a delightful lunch in the dining room at the original table used at the time of Edward Knight. Jane Austen definitely dined here.
Beautiful view from this room.
This is a portrait of Edward Knight.
Then a wonderful private tour of the house,
Part of the collection of antique books held by the Library which is a repository for works by female authors.
These are first edition copies of Northanger Abbey and Persuation, two hundred years old!
The Great Hall.
The graves of Jane's sister and mother, both called Cassandra. They are buried in the churchyard of the village church.
This is where Jane is buried, in the floor of Winchester Cathedral.
This is the house where Jane passed away at the age of 42 years. So sad.
It is exactly 200 years later. This is a tribute to Jane recently installed.