Friday, April 20, 2012

Jane Austen Day Part 1 (It should be a national holiday!)

Today was Austen Day (It's unofficial but I think I'll petition the Queen). With my Jane Austen class I visited Steventon, the village and her father's church where Jane spent the first 25 years of her life. Next was Chawton House Manor, the home of her brother Edward, that has now been turned into a library for early English women's writing. The building was beautiful and our guide kept expressing how much she'd love it for us to return and use the library for our own personal research. I might take her up on it! Then we walked down the lane to Chawton cottage, also owned by Jane's brother Edward. but where Jane and her sister and mother lived after the Reverend George Austen died. It was here in this tiny little cottage that Jane published her novels, and wrote almost continuously. It was a beautiful little cottage and I got a little teary-eyed. Unfortunately, Winchester Cathedral is closed today and tomorrow because of the enthronement of their new Bishop and so my class was unable to go see Jane's grave. I'm making a special trip out on Sunday because I can't possibly go home without seeing it. Instead, we visited The Vyne, a country estate that dates back to the tudor times that Jane's family were frequent visitors of.

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