“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ― Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

maandag 14 juli 2014

Mrs. Austen writes glowingly about their stay at STONELEIGH ABBEY:

In 1806, the recently widowed Mrs. Austen visited Adlestrop Rectory in Gloucestershire with her two daughters, where they stayed with her cousins Rev. Thomas Leigh and his sister Elizabeth.  During their visit,  Rev. Thomas Leigh learned that the Hon. Mary Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey had died and that he would inherit the great house, whose origins go back to 1154. The Austen women traveled with Rev. Leigh to Warwickshire. In the following letter, Mrs. Austen writes glowingly about their stay at the mansion:
 
“STONELEIGH ABBEY,
“August 13, 1806. 
“MY DEAR MARY, – The very day after I wrote you my last letter, Mr. Hill wrote his intention of being at Adlestrop with Mrs. Hill on Monday, the 4th, and his wish that Mr. Leigh and family should return with him to Stoneleigh the following day, as there was much business for the executors awaiting them at the Abbey, and he was hurried for time. All this accordingly took place, and here we found ourselves on Tuesday (that is yesterday se’nnight) eating fish, venison, and all manner of good things, in a large and noble parlour, hung round with family portraits. The house is larger than I could have supposed. We cannot find our way about it – I mean the best part; as to the offices, which were the Abbey, Mr. Leigh almost despairs of ever finding his way about them. I have proposed his setting up direction posts at the angles. I had expected to find everything about the place very fine and all that, but I had no idea of its being so beautiful. I had pictured to myself long avenues, dark rookeries, and dismal yew trees, but here are no such dismal things. The Avon runs near the house, amidst green meadows, bounded by large and beautiful woods, full of delightful walks. “At nine in the morning we say our prayers in a handsome chapel, of which the pulpit, &c. &c., is now hung with black. Then follows breakfast, consisting of chocolate, coffee, and tea, plum cake, pound cake, hot rolls, cold rolls, bread and butter, and dry toast for me. The house steward, a fine, large, respectable-looking man, orders all these matters. Mr. Leigh and Mr. Hill are busy a great part of the morning. We walk a good deal, for the woods are impenetrable to the sun, even in the middle of an August day. I do not fail to spend some part of every day in the kitchen garden, where the quantity of small fruit exceeds anything you can form an idea of. This large family, with the assistance of a great many blackbirds and thrushes, cannot prevent it from rotting on the trees. The gardens contain four acres and a half. The ponds supply excellent fish, the park excellent venison; there is great quantity of rabbits, pigeons, and all sorts of poultry. There is a delightful dairy, where is made butter, good Warwickshire cheese and cream ditto. One manservant is called the baker, and does nothing but brew and bake. 
The number of casks in the strong-beer cellar is beyond imagination; those in the small-beer cellar bear no proportion, though, by the bye, the small beer might be called ale without misnomer. This is an odd sort of letter. I write just as things come into my head, a bit now and a bit then. “Now I wish to give you some idea of the inside of this vast house – first premising that there are forty-five windows in front, which is quite straight, with a flat roof, fifteen in a row. You go up a considerable flight of steps to the door, for some of the offices are underground, and enter a large hall. On the right hand is the dining-room and within that the breakfast-room, where we generally sit; and reason good, ’tis the only room besides the chapel, which looks towards the view. On the left hand of the hall is the best drawing-room and within a smaller one. These rooms are rather gloomy with brown wainscot and dark crimson furniture, so we never use them except to walk through to the old picture gallery. Behind the smaller drawing-room is the state-bedchamber – an alarming apartment, with its high, dark crimson velvet bed, just fit for an heroine. The old gallery opens into it. Behind the hall and parlours there is a passage all across the house, three staircases and two small sitting-rooms. There are twenty-six bedchambers in the new part of the house and a great many, some very good ones, in the old. There is also another gallery, fitted up with modern prints on a buff paper, and a large billiard-room. Every part of the house and offices is kept so clean, that were you to cut your finger I do not think you could find a cobweb to wrap it up in. I need not have written this long letter, for I have a presentiment that if these good people live until next year you will see it all with your own eyes. “Our visit has been a most pleasant one. We all seem in good humour, disposed to be pleased and endeavouring to be agreeable, and I hope we succeed. Poor Lady Saye and Sele, to be sure, is rather tormenting, though sometimes amusing, and affords Jane many a good laugh, but she fatigues me sadly on the whole. To-morrow we depart. We have seen the remains of Kenilworth, which afforded us much entertainment, and I expect still more from the sight of Warwick Castle, which we are going to see to-day. The Hills are gone, and my cousin, George Cook, is come. A Mr. Holt Leigh was here yesterday and gave us all franks. He is member for, and lives at, Wigan in Lancashire, and is a great friend of young Mr. Leigh’s, and I believe a distant cousin. He is a single man on the wrong side of forty, chatty and well-bred and has a large estate. There are so many legacies to pay and so many demands that I do not think Mr. Leigh will find that he has more money than he knows what to do with this year, whatever he may do next. The funeral expenses, proving the will, and putting the servants in both houses in mourning must come to a considerable sum; there were eighteen men servants.” – Letter, Hill, Jane Austen: Her Homes and Her Friends
stoneleigh-abbey 

zondag 13 juli 2014

Jane Austen’s mother, Cassandra Leigh, was related to an aristocratic family.

Sir Thomas Leigh was Lord Mayor of London when Elizabeth I became Queen and in the following century, another Leigh was made a baron for helping the Royalists against Cromwell. The family became huge landowners, with estates mainly in the Midlands of England. Cassandra Leigh, the daughter of a clergyman, was a comparatively poor relation but kept in touch with some of her more wealthy family members.

After Jane’s father died in Bath in 1806, her mother took her daughters to Gloucestershire to stay with her cousins the Reverend Thomas Leigh and his sister Elizabeth at Adlestrop Rectory in the Cotswolds, near Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold.


These Leighs were godparents to Jane’s sister and one of her brothers. Another more distant cousin, James Henry Leigh, lived in the nearby manor house.
The Leighs were making great changes to the village and grounds on the advice of Humphry Repton (see photo on the left), a fashionable landscape designer, and the remodelled settings of Adlestrop may have influenced Henry Crawford’s description of Thornton Lacy in the novel Mansfield Park.
While the Austen women were staying with him, the Rev Thomas Leigh learned of the death of  a relative, the wealthy Honourable Mary Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire, and that he was possibly in line to inherit. He and the Austens set off immediately  to stake a claim.
 






This was the ‘best drawing room’,
which Mrs Austen found ‘rather gloomy’,
and has been re-designed as a really lovely library.
 Photo: Stoneleigh Abbey
 
Jane’s mother, writing to her daughter-in-law from Stoneleigh, gave a detailed description of the stately home. “I had no idea of its being so beautiful,” she wrote.“The Avon runs near the house, amidst green meadows, bounded by large and beautiful woods, full of delightful walks.” The house was so large that they could not find their way about it, she went on.
Mrs Austen mentioned a visit to nearby Kenilworth Castle and plans for an excursion to Warwick.
After 10 days, the Austen women moved on and never revisited; however the Abbey and Stoneleigh are believed to have been the inspirations for Sotherton Court and the nearby village in the novel Mansfield Park.
 

Jane Austen's manuscripts


Ancestors of Jane Austen

 Capel Manor, it was eventually demolished in 1966 horsmonden
 
At the end of the sixteenth century there was living at Horsmonden--a small village in the Weald of Kent--a certain John Austen. From his will it is evident that he was a man of considerable means, owning property in Kent and Sussex and elsewhere; he also held a lease of certain lands from Sir Henry Whetenhall, including in all probability the manor house of Broadford in Horsmonden. What wealth he had was doubtless derived from the clothing trade. John Austen died in 1620, his fifth son, Francis died in 1687. Francis left a son, John, whose son was another John. This last John settled at Broadford (while his father remained at Grovehurst), and, when quite young, married Elizabeth Weller.

Elizabeth Weller, a woman happily cast in a different mould from her husband, was an ancestress of Jane Austen who deserves commemoration. Thrifty, energetic, a careful mother, and a prudent housewife, she managed, though receiving only grudging assistance from the Austen family, to pay off her husband's debts, and to give to all her younger children a decent education at a school at Sevenoaks; the eldest boy (the future squire) being taken off her hands by his grandfather.[6] Elizabeth left behind her not only elaborately kept accounts but also a minute description of her actions through many years and of the motives which governed them.

Her son Francis became a solicitor. Setting up at Sevenoaks 'with eight hundred pounds and a bundle of pens,' he contrived to amass a very large fortune, living most hospitably, and yet buying up all the valuable land round the town which he could secure, and enlarging his means by marrying two wealthy wives. But his first marriage did not take place till he was nearer fifty than forty; and he had as a bachelor been a most generous benefactor to the sons of his two next brothers, Thomas and William.
William, the surgeon, Jane Austen's grandfather married Rebecca, daughter of Sir George Hampson, a physician of Gloucester, and widow of another medical man, James Walter. By her first husband she had a son, William Hampson Walter, born in 1721; by her second she had three daughters, and one son, George, born in 1731. Philadelphia--the only daughter who grew up and married. Rebecca Austen died in 1733

Portrait: Francis Austen (1697-1791)  portrait by Ozias Humphrey. Philadelphia

However, all that we know of William' s childhood is that his uncle Francis befriended him, and sent him to Tonbridge School, and that from Tonbridge he obtained a Scholarship (and subsequently a Fellowship) at St. John's College, Oxford--the College at which, later on, through George's own marriage, his descendants were to be 'founder's kin.' He returned to teach at his old school, occupying the post of second master there in 1758, and in the next year he was again in residence at Oxford, where his good looks gained for him the name of 'the handsome proctor.' In 1760 he took Orders, and in 1761 was presented by Mr. Knight of Godmersham--who had married a descendant of his great-aunt, Jane Stringer--to the living of Steventon, near Overton in Hampshire. It was a time of laxity in the Church, and George Austen (though he afterwards became an excellent parish-priest) does not seem to have resided or done duty at Steventon before the year 1764, when his marriage to Cassandra Leigh must have made the rectory appear a desirable home to which to bring his bride.

The wife that George Austen chose belonged to the somewhat large clan of the Leighs of Adlestrop in Gloucestershire, of which family the Leighs[7] of Stoneleigh were a younger branch. Her father was the Rev. Thomas Leigh, elected Fellow of All Souls at so early an age that he was ever after called 'Chick Leigh,' and afterwards Rector of Harpsden, near Henley.

Cassandra Leigh's youth was spent in the quiet rectory of Harpsden, for her father was one of the more conscientious of the gently born clergy of that day, living entirely on his benefice, and greatly beloved in his neighbourhood as an exemplary parish-priest. 'He was one of the most contented, quiet, sweet-tempered, generous, cheerful men I ever knew,' so says the chronicler of the Leigh family, 'and his wife was his counterpart. Towards the end of his life he removed to Bath, being severely afflicted with the gout, and here he died in 1763.

George Austen perhaps met his future wife at the house of her uncle, the Master of Balliol, but no particulars of the courtship have survived. The marriage took place at Walcot Church, Bath, on April 26, 1764, the bride's father having died at Bath only a short time before. Two circumstances connected with their brief honeymoon--which consisted only of a journey from Bath to Steventon, broken by one day's halt at Andover--may be mentioned. The bride's 'going-away' dress seems to have been a scarlet riding-habit. reveriesunderthesignofausten
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The village Horsmonden was home to Jane Austen's grandfather and several other of her relatives, many of whom lived at Capel Manor House. Many of the family's graves can be seen in the churchyard of St. Margaret's Church.[2] Horsmonden
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Henry Austen was a grandson of Elizabeth Weller and a cousin of Jane's father George. Born in 1726, he was educated at Tonbridge School, being Head Boy when his cousin George was lower in the school, so they must have known each other. Like George he became a clergyman, serving in several parishes, the last of which was West Wickham, where his clerical career ended in some controversy when he adopted Unitarian views. Among his various homes was one in Tonbridge High Street called Fosse Bank (No. 182, now replaced with an office block.) His wife was the daughter of John Hooker, Lord of the Manor of Tonbridge.

Click for larger versionPortrait of Elizabeth Matilda Harrison, with a lock of her hair. (THS)
Henry Austen's daughter Elizabeth Matilda married a Mr Harrison of Southampton, and was known to Jane Austen and her mother and sister when they lived in that city from 1806-9. A small portrait of this lady, shown here, was presented to Tonbridge Historical Society by one of her descendants.
If Jane Austen ever paid a visit to Tonbridge it is likely to have been to Henry's house when Jane was young. There are memorials to Henry, his wife and two sons in the parish church.

Philadelphia Hancock

Philadelphia Hancock was a popular aunt of Jane Austen, one of her father’s sisters. She was born in Tonbridge in 1730 but lived with relations after her parents died. A spirited girl, she travelled to India at the age of 20 to find a husband. The man she married was Tysoe Hancock, a surgeon in the East India Company. She and their only child, Eliza, returned to England where the two of them saw much of Jane and her family. Mother and daughter were helped financially by the famous Warren Hastings, a friend of Mr Hancock. Philadelphia died in London at the age of sixty.

 

zaterdag 12 juli 2014

Godmersham Park and Tonbridge

 
Godmersham was inherited by Jane's brother Edward from the childless Knights. Jane and Cassandra were frequent visitors to both houses, and Jane worked on several of her novels while staying at Godmersham. She drew on her experiences in Kent for her descriptions of her fictional grand houses. When the Reverend George Austen died, Edward offered a choice of houses to his mother and sisters. One was in Wye, and the other was Chawton Cottage.   

Tonbridge





 
 
The Austen family originated in the Horsmonden area, and the Reverend George Austen was born in Tonbridge, attended Tonbridge School, and returned for a time as a master.
 
 
 

The Upper School at Tonbridge School, where George Austen taught tonbridgehistory

His widowed and penniless grandmother, Elizabeth Weller, showed great resourcefulness in taking up a place as a matron and housekeeper at Sevenoaks School to ensure that all her sons received a good education.

 
Jane's brother Edward was adopted by the Knight family as a child and grew up on Godmersham Park Estate. He inherited Godmersham Park and with his wife Elizabeth, made it his family home. Jane was a frequent visitor to Edward's home and the inspirational surroundings and social environment it had to offer. She was particularly fond of Edward and Elizabeth's eldest daughter, her much loved niece Fanny with whom she exchanged intimate correspondence. Copies of some of Jane's letters to Fanny are on display at The Godmersham Park Heritage Centre, along with other interesting treasures which have been collected and conserved for the Parishes of Godmersham and Crundale, which the Centre has been established to serve. (Visits to the Heritage Centre can be made by arrangement with the Administrator as follows: Rebecca Lilley tel: 01227 732272
Email:
heritagecentre@btconnect.com)
Some of Jane’s letters written from Godmersham give the flavour of the place as it was in those days:

""We live in the Library except at Meals & have a fire every Eveng … I am now alone in the Library, Mistress of all I survey – at least I may say so & repeat the whole poem if I like it, without offence to anybody … At this present time I have five Tables, Eight and twenty chairs & two fires all to myself … Yesterday passed quite à la Godmersham … James and Mary are much struck with the beauty of the place … The Comfort of the Billiard Table here is very great. – It draws all the Gentlemen to it whenever they are within, especially after Dinner, so that my Br Fanny & I have the Library to ourselves in delightful quiet … Half an hour before breakfast – (very snug, in my own room, lovely morng, excellent fire, fancy me) … In another week I shall be at home – & then, my having been at Godmersham will seem like a Dream … But in the meantime for Elegance & Ease & Luxury.” jasna.

tonbridgehistory
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Edward (1767-1852) was was adopted in the early 1780′s by rich childless cousins of the Austens, Thomas and Catherine Knight. He was sent by them on the “grand tour” of continental Europe in 1786-1788, and eventually inherited their estate of Godmersham, Kent, and took the last name of “Knight”. In 1791, he married Elizabeth Bridges. Two years later the couple welcomed their first child, Fanny. Unfortunately for the happy couple, Elizabeth died when Fanny was not yet sixteen (shortly after her 11th confinement). Fanny’s aunts, Cassandra and Jane, who had once been occasional visitors, now took on a much more involved and motherly role in the lives of their nieces and nephews. Cassandra, especially, spent months at a time at the family estate, Godmersham, tending to the needs of her young charges, while her brother grieved the loss of his wife.
For Jane, the plight of young Fanny was especially worrisome, as she considered her new role in the family:

Soon after his wife’s death, Edward inherited a house and property in Chawton and was able to offer the nearby cottage to his mother and sisters. This close proximity to the family they loved so much must have only deepend the intimacy of the two. fanny-austen-knight-knatchbull

donderdag 10 juli 2014

What did Jane Austen earn with her books?

Om als een Engelse heer of dame comfortabel te kunnen leven was het wenselijk om ten minste £ 300 per jaar hebben voor iedere persoon binnen de familie, wat neerkomt op ongeveer £ 6000.
 
 
Aangezien het aantal lezers dat zich een boek kon veroorloven zeer beperkt was, denk ik dat rond 1800 niemand van schrijven alleen kon leven; in haar hele leven heeft Jane 631 pond verdient met haar romans. Een hele prestatie, maar niet genoeg om van rond te komen. Pas toen het drukken van boeken goedkoper werd en daarmee het lezerspubliek groter, kwamen er schrijvers die van hun werk konden leven (denk aan Dickens).
janeausten.nl/forum

England's privately owned pleasure gardens

In the eighteenth century, England's privately owned pleasure gardens hosted royalty, nobility and famous people of the day who promenaded through exquisite, classical vistas and artfully contrived ruins in a fairyland of tinkling fountains and glittering lights. They showcased the finest musicians and artists of the day, hosting Mozart's English debut, and exhibited fine art in a public setting for the first time. At a time when the city streets were unlit and impassable (as they perceived them) except by sedan chair, pleasure gardens offered well-to-do ladies a thrilling opportunity to meet people from beyond their proscribed circle of friends. The gardens were also the first truly egalitarian venue, where anyone was granted admission for the price of a ticket, regardless of class. In an age almost as celebrity-orientated as our own, with nobles replacing TV stars, the gardens were the place to see and be seen. They began to appear as England fell in love with fun again at the Restoration, and reached their height in the 1740s and 50s. In the halcyon days of the mid to late 18th century, the gardens were the backdrop to an endless parade of concerts, balls, public breakfasts, masquerades and firework displays.

For those who worked, holidays really were only single days, and before the railways made travel to the coast or countryside viable, a day at a pleasure garden on the outskirts of the city was the perfect way to unwind. By the Victorian era most pleasure gardens had lost their Arcadian chic. Offering family entertainments, balloon ascents, animal exhibits and ice-cream, they were the forerunners of the seaside or amusement park.

Tragically, little is left of such an important part of our history. Of the great London gardens, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was entirely lost to Victorian property development until the blitz cleared a portion of the site, which was redefined as a park after the second world war. Now restored to the original name of Spring Gardens, it remains a public park off Kennington Lane in Lambeth, with part of the site on Tyers Street dedicated to Vauxhall City Farm and the Riding Therapy Centre. Ranelagh also all but disappeared, save for a small area where the Chelsea Flower Show is now held (Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea). The fate of the provincial gardens was generally more severe. Victims of civic and industrial expansion, almost all were gone by 1860, leaving only a district or street name to mark their passing.

On the photo: An entertainment in Vauxhall Gardens in c.1779 by Thomas Rowlandson. The two women in the centre are Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and her sister Lady Duncannon. The man seated at the table on the left is Samuel Johnson, with James Boswell to his left and Oliver Goldsmith to his right. To the right the actress and author Mary Darby Robinson stands next to the Prince of Wales, later George IV
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Sydney Gardens Vauxhall in Bath was possibly the greatest pleasure garden outside London. It boasted a labyrinth, where Jane Austen walked every day when she lived in Bath, as well as a picturesque folly of a ruined castle. Once Brunel's railway bisected the site, popularity began to wane, and by the end of the 19th century it was little more than a public park with concerts. Suffering further decline in the 20th century, there is little left apart from a bowling green and tennis courts to entertain visitors (Pulteney Road). However the space is set to return to its former glory with the current redevelopment of the Holburne Museum (bath.ac.uk/holburne) on Great Pulteney Street, once the Sydney Hotel and gateway to the gardens, and further plans to restore Sydney Gardens (Sydney Place).
• Sarah Jane Downing is the author of The English Pleasure Garden 1660-1860, published by Shire Publications, £5.99 pleasure-sydney-gardens-vauxhall-bath

On the photo: Sketch of the Fancy Fair at Sydney Gardens, Bath for the Relief of Distressed Seamen. Painted around 1836 by an unknown artist
In her letter to Cassandra dated 19th June 1799 , written while Jane Austen was staying in Bath with her brother Edward and his family in Queen’s Square, she recorded her impressions of one such event:
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Last night we were in Sidney Gardens (sic) again as there was a repetition of the Gala which went off so ill on the 4th-  We did not go till nine and then were in very good time for the Fire-Works which were  really beautiful and surpassing my expectations- the illuminations too were very pretty.

She appears to have disliked the music played there, for she made this caustic comment in her letter to Cassandra of the 2nd June 1799, when writing of the planned visit to the original gala:

There is to be a grand gala on Tuesday evening in Sydney Gardens-A concert with Illuminations and Fireworks; to the latter Elizabeth and I look forward with pleasure, and even the concert will have more than its usual charm with me, as the Gardens are large enough for me to get pretty well beyond the reach of its sound.

wiki/Vauxhall_Gardens

woensdag 9 juli 2014

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has unveiled an accurate likeness of the world-famous author.

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has unveiled what experts believe is an accurate likeness of the world-famous author. The model is the culmination of forensic research, eye-witness accounts, and a costume designer.

Vandaag is in Bath een wassen beeld onthuld van Jane Austen waar drie jaar aan is gewerkt. De BBC schrijft: Melissa Dring, FBI trained forensic artist, said she used the small pencil and watercolour sketch that Cassandra made, as a "starting point" for her pastel portrait, which was then developed into the waxwork.....we know from all accounts of her that she was very lively, very great fun to be with and a mischievous and witty person." Jane Austen is thought to have share...d the Austen family traits of long nose, bright sparkly brown eyes and curly brown hair. jane-austens-face-revealed-after-extensive-research/
 

maandag 7 juli 2014

St Swithin’s Church and Paragon nr 1. The house of the uncle and aunt of Jane Austen

Jane’s mother, Cassandra Leigh was living in Bath at the time of her marriage to George Austen in 1764. Her father had retired to Bath in the early 1760s,  and had died there in January 1764, and was then buried in the subject of our post today, St Swithin’s Church. The Austens married on the 26th April 1764 by special license at St. Swithin’s
 
This is a copy of the register recording their marriage
 
In a characteristically practical manner, Mrs Austen did not appear at church arrayed in any special wedding dress of fine embroidered silk. Instead she wore  a typical mid 18th century travelling dress -a habit-of red worsted wool.


Her dress must have been very similar to this one held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in their collection. If you go here you can see a 360 degree view of the dress and a short description of it.
 
 
On January 21, 1805 the Reverend George Austen died at the age of 73, and was buried St. Swithin’s Church. Originally George Austen’s tombstone was in the crypt, but it was moved outside in 1968, and the memorial plaque was added in 2000.
 



Jane Austen’s aunt and uncle  James Leigh Perrott and his wife lived during the winter season, at Number 1, the Paragon. Jane Austen stayed with them there in 1797 and also in 1801 when the Austen’s first left Steventon upon Mr Austens retirement, so that they could have a base while they were house hunting for a suitable place to live in Bath. It has to be admitted that Jane Austen was not in a good fame of mind when she stayed there in 1801. She had been rather forced to leave her beloved Steventon home, their friends and neighbours and the surrounding countryside, against her will. She was a self confessed “Desperate Walker” and being hemmed in, in a town,  by houses and buildings, however grand , must have felt oppressive to her.
 


 
 
 
The Paragon is a delightfully quirky 4-bedroom Georgian townhouse in the fashionable and bustling centre of the World Heritage City of Bath. The property has been given a special Gold award for 'exceptional quality of accommodation and customer service' by VistEngland for 2014.

vrijdag 4 juli 2014

Home of Jane Austen and her family during their stay, 4 Sydneystreet Bath.

For the Austens the first floor was the most important. Here they received their quests and were living a great part of the day. The view through the three windows is pretty much the same as Jane saw.


The first floor is bought in 2011 by Bath Boutique Stays.   They restored it in a beautiful way.  bath-boutique-stays

dinsdag 1 juli 2014

The Dean Gate Inn

The Dean Gate Inn is an old coaching inn and postal receiving house.


The position of the Steventon Rectory is marked by the arrow marked with number “3″ and the position of the Ashe Rectory, home of Jane Austen’s great friend, Mrs Lefroy, is marked by the arrow numbered “2″. Jane Austen mentions Dean Gate in her letter to Cassandra Austen, her sister, written on the 9th January 1796: We left Warren at Dean Gate in our way home last night and he is now on his road to town. Warren, was John Willing Warren (1771-1831) who was one of the Reverend George Austen’s pupils at Steventon Rectory. He was a life long friend of the Austens and Deirdre le Faye describes him in her book,

Jane Austen: A Family Record as follows:
When Jane and Cassandra returned home from school in the autumn of 1786 their daily companions were therefore…the good natured, ugly John Willing Warren, son of Mr Peter Warren of Mildred Court, Cornhill, London who had come some time in the 1780s and who also went up to Oxford in 1786 ,remained a friend for life and is mentioned in several of Jane’s letters.

So, as a place to catch and be dropped off by coaches,  this inn would have been a very familiar place for the Austens, travelling to family, university, and naval college. Their pupils, friends and family would have used it on the way to and from Steventon, and no doubt the Austens used it too. Jane Austen almost certainly used it when she travelled to Andover to meet with Mrs Poore and her mother, the wife of Phillip Henry Poore, the apothecary, surgeon and man-midwife, while changing coaches on the way to visit Martha Lloyd at Ibthrope:

My Journey was safe and not unpleasant. I spent an hour at Andover of which Messrs Painter and Redding had the larger part; twenty minutes however fell to the lot of Mrs Poore and her mother, whom I was glad to see in good looks and spirits.
(See Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 30th November 1800)

Constance Hill in her book, Jane Austen Her Homes and her Friends, published in 1923, describes her joy at being able to stay at the Dean Gate Inn on her first excursion into what she termed “Austenland”:

After a short halt we again resumed our journey, and finally, as darkness was closing in, we drew up triumphantly at the solitary inn of Clarken Green. But our triumph was of short duration. Within doors all was confusion – rooms dismantled, packing-cases choking up the entries, and furniture piled up against the walls. The innkeeper and his family, we found, were on the eve of a departure. It was impossible, he said, to receive us, but he offered us the use of a chaise and a fresh horse to take us on to Deane – a place a few miles farther west – where he thought it possible we might find shelter in a small inn. The name struck our ears, for Deane has its associations with the Austen family. There Jane’s father and mother spent the first seven years of their married life. By all means let us go to Deane! So bidding farewell to our charioteer, the blacksmith’s wife, as she led her sturdy pony into the stable, we drove off cheerily along the  darkening roads. Before long a light appeared between the trees, and in a few minutes we were stopping in front of a low, rambling, whitewashed building – the small wayside inn of Deane Gate. Our troubles were now over, and much we enjoyed our cosy supper, which we ate in a tiny parlour of spotless cleanliness. A chat with our landlady gave us the welcome intelligence that we were within two miles of Steventon. Our small tavern and Gatehouse (as it was formerly) stood, she said, where the lane for Steventon joins the main road to the west. This, no doubt, would give it importance for the Austens and their country neighbours; and we recalled the words of Jane in one of her letters, when speaking of a drive from Basingstoke to Steventon she says: “We left Warren at Dean Gate on our way home.” So we fell asleep that night with the happy consciousness that we were really in Austen-land. austenonly


zondag 22 juni 2014

Amsterdamse scholiere schrijft novelle in de stijl van Jane Austen

De Amsterdamse gymnasiast Julia Neugarten (18) schreef voor haar profielwerkstuk The Jane Austen Novel een novelle in Jane Austen stijl. Hiermee won ze afgelopen weekend de Profielwerkstuk Prijs 2014 van Het 4e Gymnasium in Amsterdam. Haar novelle Prospects & Presumptions, een romantische komedie die zich afspeelt in Regency Engeland, is nu online te koop.

Waarom heb je gekozen voor Jane Austen en haar werk als onderwerp voor je profielwerkstuk?
Al sinds ik op mijn 12e voor het eerst keek naar de Sense & Sensibility verfilming van Ang Lee draag ik Jane Austen een warm hart toe. Toen ik een profielwerkstuk-onderwerp moest uitzoeken wist ik al meteen dat ik iets wilde doen dat zowel met literatuuronderzoek als met schrijven te maken had. Uiteindelijk heb ik dus een eigen novelle geschreven op basis van een analyse van de romans van Austen. Austen spreekt me aan omdat haar werk heel vrolijk en optimistisch kan worden gelezen, maar ook een diepere laag heeft die eigenlijk heel tragisch is: haar heldinnen zitten vaak zo gevangen in maatschappelijke verwachtingen. De benauwende maatschappij in combinatie met de humoristische verhaallijnen zoals je die nog steeds in romantische komedies aantreft, sprak me aan. Lees meer: amsterdamse-scholiere-schrijft-novelle-de-stijl-van-jane-austen

woensdag 18 juni 2014

Het Engeland van Jane Austen- Karin Quint


En dan eindelijk heb ik het......
Het boek wat de Nederlandse Karin Quint over Jane Austen maakte
 
De website over Jane Austen van Karin volg ik al langer
Dat zij een boek heeft gemaakt merkte ik via Facebook
En ik las het via recensies
 
 
Ik wilde het boek heel graag zelf hebben
Ik bedacht: "" ik vraag het voor mijn verjaardag""
Lang wachten, want mijn verjaardag is eind augustus
Ineens schoot in mijn hoofd
""Stel dat het dan uitverkocht is?""
 
 
Ik keek rond in een boekhandel daar vond ik het niet
Uiteindelijk bestelde ik het via Bol.COM
en vandaag lag het in de brievenbus
 
Het boek is nog mooier dan ik dacht
Op elke bladzijde staan meerdere foto's
 
 De bladzijden hebben aan de buitenkant verschillend zachte kleurtjes
Hierdoor kun je verschillende onderwerpen gemakkelijk vinden


 Behalve veel foto's staat het boek boordevol informatie
Karin Quint schrijft over Jane en haar familie, de huizen en steden waar zij woonde
Zij geeft een historische context, beschrijft mooie wandelroutes
Zij laat foto's zien mbt div. filmlocaties en nog veel meer
Ik weet best veel over Jane Austen en haar tijd
Maar ook ik vind hier nieuwe informatie in
 
Ik ben heel blij met mijn nieuwe boek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ik vind het zo stoer dat een Nederlandse dit boek heeft gemaakt
Naar mijn idee moet het ook in Engeland en de USA worden uitgegeven
Ik ken geen andere uitgave die hierbij in de buurt kan komen
Dit is een boek wat iedere ""Janeite"" in huis moet hebben
 
Wanneer je je afvraagt wat je rondom het boek ziet
Dit zijn kaarten die ik heb beschilderd 
 
-------------------------
 
For my English readers
Today I reveived a new book of Jane Austen, written by the Dutch Karin Quint
It really is a great book
 
Besides many pictures the book is packed with information

Karin Quint writes about Jane and her family, homes and cities where she lived

She gives a historical context, describes beautiful trails to walk

She shows pictures about div. film locations and more

I know quite a lot about Jane Austen and her time

But I also found some new information
 
I really am happy with my new book

zaterdag 7 juni 2014

Het Engeland van Jane Austen:

 
Het Engeland van Jane Austen:

Het is natuurlijk leuk om het verleden te idealiseren, dromend van een Mr Darcy, maar de werkelijkheid was bikkelhard. Wanneer je zoals Jane Austen in de middenklasse werd geboren, was het enige doel in je leven het vinden van een goede, bij voorkeur rijke, man en daarna het krijgen van heel veel kinderen. In haar brieven beklaagt Jane Austen het lot van een nichtje dat al voor de zoveelste keer zwanger. Ze noemt haar een 'arm dier', dat afgeleefd zal zijn tegen de tijd dat ze dertig is. Als ze dat al haalde; veel vrouwen overleden in het kraambed.' Karin Quint over

Wat een schitterend boek! Maar wat een werk… Hoe lang ben je met het schrijven en samenstellen bezig geweest?
Dank je voor het compliment! Voorbereiding, reizen en schrijven hebben in totaal ongeveer een jaar in beslag genomen. Ik begon met het verzamelen van informatie over alle plekken die ik wilde opnemen in de gids, door het herlezen van Jane Austens romans en haar brieven en het uitpluizen van meerdere biografieën. Omdat ik ook alle filmlocaties van verfilmingen van haar werk sinds 1995 wilde opnemen, heb ik daarnaast heel wat uurtjes voor de tv gezeten om te bekijken welke scène op welke plek was opgenomen. Daar kwam een lijst uit met ruim 250 straten, dorpen, landhuizen en andere locaties. In de eerste helft van 2013 ben ik meerdere keren naar Engeland gereisd om alle locaties te bezoeken. In juli van dat jaar leverde ik mijn manuscript in bij de uitgever en was ik wel een beetje aan vakantie toe.
Hoe zou je het boek willen omschrijven? Het is meer dan een reisgids…
Een plek, hoe mooi ook, krijgt voor mij pas betekenis als ik het verhaal erachter ken. Daarom heb ik in de reisgids veel achtergrondinformatie over Jane Austen, haar familie en de tijd waarin zij leefden opgenomen. Grappig om nu terug te horen dat sommige mensen de reisgids lezen als een soort biografie. Het was niet mijn opzet, maar inderdaad: aan de hand van locaties leer je heel veel over het leven van Jane Austen.
Ik vond het ook leuk om met zoveel mogelijk mensen te praten om bijzondere informatie boven water te krijgen, zoals over de verfilmingen die vaak in de mooiste landhuizen zijn opgenomen. Ik hou erg van anekdotes. Zo vertelde een gids in Burghley House mij dat hij als figurant had meegespeeld in de verfilming van Pride and Prejudice uit 2005. Hij stond in een scène naast de actrice Judi Dench, die tussen de opnames door iedere keer haar breiwerkje onder haar stoel vandaan haalde. Wanneer ik nu de film zie, moet ik bij die scène telkens aan dat breiwerkje denken. Het verhaal van die gids moest natuurlijk in het boek.
Lees het hele interview: bol.com/boeken

vrijdag 30 mei 2014

Jane Austen note: Hidden text linked to Mansfield Park novel

A handwritten note by Jane Austen "hidden" for 150 years on the back of a fragment of paper has been revealed. Experts have linked the text on both the front and back to themes in the author's novel Mansfield Park. The fragment was stuck to a letter discovered in a first edition of her memoirs, written by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh. The revealed text is part of a sermon apparently composed by her brother, the Reverend James Austen in 1814. The book and letter, written by Jane Austen's nephew in 1870, had been held in a private collection but was recently bought for an undisclosed sum by the Jane Austen museum in Chawton, Hampshire.
 
Jane Austen would often visit her brother James (middle) who was James Edward Austen-Leigh's (right) father
 
Very few examples of Jane Austen's handwriting survive - there are no manuscripts of her famous books and many of her letters were destroyed after her death. A team at West Dean College near Chichester, West Sussex, succeeded in unsticking the fragment, allowing the previously unseen writing on the back to be deciphered. It reads: "...great propriety preserved - Wherever... wanted to be cleared of the Superstitious... of Popery... or whenever new ones were to be... composed in order to fill up & connect the Services... with a true spirit." While the front of the fragment reads: "Men may get into a habit of repeating the words of our Prayers by rote, perhaps without thoroughly understanding - certainly without thoroughly feeling their full force and meaning."  Experts claim the text echoes a passage in Mansfield Park which was also published in 1814 - a few months before the sermon text was written. They say it reflects a discussion in the novel on the "art of reading" and its importance to the modern clergyman. Jane Austen's eldest brother, James, was rector at the church of St Nicholas in Steventon, and she would travel there to stay with him. Historians believe she helped copy out his sermons for him.

Both Jane Austen's father and brother were rectors at the church of St Nicholas in Steventon
 
Mary Guyatt, museum curator, said: "What we have to go on is the nephew's transcription. "He's cut up the sermon in around 1817 and he's written underneath it 'this is the writing but not the words of the author Jane Austen, my aunt.' "He's very clear that it was his father's composition." But Prof Kathryn Sutherland, of St Anne's College, Oxford, said it showed earlier drafts of Mansfield Park at least influenced her brother. "The scrap raises the possibility that the novel inspired James's sermon and even demonstrates the cross-fertilization between Jane Austen's creative writing and the wider life of her family."Historians will now study the note for clues to whether the sermon may after all have been written by Jane Austen. It will go on display at the museum later this year.
uk-england-Hampshire
 

maandag 26 mei 2014

Vintage ideas

 
From wardrobeshop: We have many vintage ideas for bizarre weddings and we encourage you to use our style guides! But with all these “hurry-scurry” wedding ideas,we forget about younger gals who are about to wear something vintageous and unique for their winter or spring formals.
So let’s catch our breath and look up the best vintage inspired ideas for the younger gals’ winter balls.
We decided to dedicate this post to all the lovers of Jane Austen’s world. Here we will list the main protagonists’ characteristics and style guidelines for each character. These may be useful for all young Jane Austen’s admirers. To start, let’s have a glimpse at Emma Woodhouse, successfully performed by another British lady, Gwyneth Paltrow. She is very pretty, clever and rich. She always demonstrates elegance and, sometimes, modesty with her look andisn’t afraid to share thoughts, whichare actuallyoften times about the happinessothers. But, as usual, there must be one big BUT: thinking about the others she plans their lives for them. And oftentimes the views of people don’t coincide with those of the heroine. So a beautiful romantic modest dress that also carries expensive grace is just for such kind a lady. It must look expensive and modest simultaneously to reveal both romantic and masterful beauty of its owner. Read more: wardrobeshop

maandag 12 mei 2014

Rozema’s Fanny


 
Overgenomen van: janeaustensociety:

Rozema’s Fanny is niet alleen gemodelleerd op de heldin van Pride and Prejudice; ze is tevens een beeld van Jane Austen zelf. Behalve brieven schrijft ze ook romans, die aan het eind van de film zullen worden uitgegeven door Thomas Egerton, die in werkelijkheid Jane Austens eerste uitgever was. De stijl waarin ze naar haar familie schrijft is satirisch en doortrokken van de ironie van Jane Austen zelf, hetgeen niet verwonderlijk is, daar Rozema hiervoor ook passages uit Jane Austens eigen correspondentie gebruikt heeft. Net als Austen schrijft ook Fanny een komische samenvatting van de Engelse geschiedenis, en op de kaft van het schrift waarin ze dit alles heeft opgeschreven is net even de naam `Jane’ te lezen.

Zo wordt Mansfield Park voorgesteld als een soort autobiografische roman: via een omweg wordt de auteur ten tonele gevoerd als haar eigen personage. Uiteraard is dit historisch gesproken nergens op gebaseerd, nog afgezien van de verschillen tussen Austens Fanny en die van Rozema. Maar het komt kennelijk tegemoet aan een culturele wens om niet alleen in Austens personage, maar ook in Austen zelf een geëmancipeerde, moderne vrouw te zien. Immers, door haar ervaringen tot een roman te verwerken, wint de Fanny uit de film een grote mate van macht om zelf haar leven te duiden en vorm te geven. Dit wordt met name duidelijk in de finale, waarin haar stem de beelden van commentaar voorziet en de film meerdere malen stopzet: `Het had anders kunnen aflopen [pauze . . .], maar het liep nu eenmaal zo …,’ en dan gaat de film weer verder. Deze Fanny schrijft duidelijk haar eigen scenario, waar die in het boek lijdzaam afwacht wat er gaat gebeuren.  Ook in een ander opzicht is de verfilming van Rozema politiek bewust. Het verleden wordt niet geromantiseerd: de film schuwt de lelijke kanten van het bestaan in Engeland anno 1800 niet. Het ouderlijk huis van Fanny in Portsmouth is een afzichtelijk krot, vergeven van ongedierte (aanzienlijk erger dan in het boek). Zelfs het landhuis, Mansfield Park, ziet er minder fraai uit dan die in eerdere verfilmingen van Austens boeken: het witte pleister is vergeeld.

Dit alles lijkt vooruit te wijzen naar de belangrijkste toevoeging in de film vergeleken met het boek, de nadruk op de slavernij. In het boek zelf staat daarover slechts één enkel, vrij onschuldig zinnetje, waarin vermeld wordt dat Fanny haar oom, na diens terugkeer van zijn plantage in Antigua, een vraag heeft gesteld over de slavenhandel (H 21; blz. 165). Welke vraag dat was en hoe het antwoord luidde, blijft onduidelijk. Toch heeft de postkoloniale kritiek, met name Edward Said, dit tot uitgangspunt genomen voor een analyse van het boek als geheel, waarbij een parallel wordt getrokken tussen het lot van Fanny, die door de rijke familie als een soort blanke slavin wordt beschouwd, en dat van de zwarte slaven die indertijd op alle plantages in Antigua werden ingezet. Het fortuin van de rijke oom is dus, aldus Said, afkomstig van de slavenarbeid.  In deze film is dat aspect van de uitbuiting van slaven opgeblazen tot een van de hoofdzaken. Onderweg van Portsmouth naar Mansfield Park ziet de jonge Fanny een schip liggen, waaruit een klaaglijk gezang opstijgt. De koetsier vertelt haar dat dit een slavenschip is. Er bestaat ook geen twijfel dat de plantage van Sir Thomas drijft op slavenarbeid. Het wangedrag van zijn zoon Tom wordt goeddeels verklaard uit diens traumatische ervaringen op Antigua, waar hij een boek met schetsen heeft gemaakt van de gruwelijke werkelijkheid van de slavernij, en van de rol van zijn vader in het bijzonder: verkrachtingen en mishandelingen zijn daar kennelijk aan de orde van de dag. Wanneer Fanny dit boek te zien krijgt, is zij zeer geschokt. Dit is het moment waarop ze volkomen lijkt te breken met Sir Thomas, die haar ruw de kamer uitstuurt en Tom voor gek verklaart. Ook Fanny’s eigen rol als blanke slavin wordt dik aangezet: zo zegt ze dat ze geen slaaf is en zelf wel uitmaakt met wie ze trouwt, en wordt ze de hele film door geassocieerd met gevangen vogels — terwijl dat in het boek juist het beeld is waarmee de dwaze en rebelse Maria zichzelf vergelijkt (H 10; blz. 83).

 Dit alles maakt Rozema’s Mansfield Park wel een zeer vrije bewerking, waarin Austen tot spreekbuis voor de emancipatie van vrouwen en slaven wordt gemaakt. Tegelijkertijd weerhoudt Rozema’s politieke correctheid haar ervan om Austens werk van een nostalgisch romantisch waas te voorzien. In dat opzicht vindt Rozema aansluiting bij Kiplings visie op Austen als een nuchtere realiste, hoewel Kipling, als propagandist voor het Britse wereldrijk, Rozema’s postkoloniale benadering waarschijnlijk niet gewaardeerd zou hebben. Deze paradox toont aan hoezeer het beeld van Jane Austen in de populaire cultuur aan het verschuiven is: van een conservatieve kracht, die in haar zoetsappige damesromannetjes de waarden van het Engelse platteland wilde eren, naar een vroege vertolkster van feministische en liberale ideeën.
 

zondag 11 mei 2014

Caroline Knight, a descendant of Jane Austen

A descendant of Jane Austen plans to "harness the passion" for Britain's most famous female author by launching a charity in her name. Caroline Knight is the fifth great-niece of Austen and the last of her relatives to be born and raised in the family seat. Now a successful businesswoman, she has created the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation to raise money for education projects around the world.
Knight, 43, will launch the foundation at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford this week. She is inviting all those who have enjoyed or benefited from Austen's work - from ordinary readers to the film studio behind the Keira Knightley adaptation of Pride and Prejudice - to make contributions.
"I want to harness this passion there is for Jane Austen, to do something about literacy," she said.
"We are coming up to the 200th anniversary of her death in 2017, she is being put on the £10 note - it seemed like a good time to launch. "I would like to engage with anybody who has ever been inspired by or admired Jane Austen, or has gained in some way." Harnessing the Austen name has also caused Knight to look at her own history, and how tightly her life has been bound up with her famous forebear. Austen's brother, Edward Austen Knight, inherited Chawton House near Winchester, Hants, from a childless relative. He offered Jane, her mother and sister a cottage on the estate, and they moved there in 1809.

 Knight was born at Chawton House in 1970 and grew up surrounded by mementoes of "Great Aunt Jane" - sitting down at the same dining table where Austen and her brother took their meals, and using the same Wedgwood dinner service. It was a life of balls, hunts and tea with the village rector, just as it was in Austen's day. But the family fortune had disappeared by the mid-20th century and the Elizabethan manor house was expensive to maintain. In a turn of events that could have come straight from the pages of an Austen novel, Knight lost her home in 1989 when her grandfather died and the remaining family members could not afford to keep it going.

They were forced to sell the lease and the building is now owned by Sandy Lerner, a US tech millionaire who has turned it into a library for women's writing. "It's a typical story with so many of these properties. It's just not practical in today's world to maintain them as private homes," Knight said. "Intellectually, we totally understood what was happening and that another situation had to be found to preserve the house for the future. But that doesn't stop the heart, does it?" Knight said she felt a chill of recognition as a teenager when she read Pride and Prejudice, and the moment when a distraught Mrs Bennet wails, 'What is to become of us all?' when she fears the family will be turned out of their home. "It was a little too close to home for me," she said. "Austen's novels were not romantic historical fiction. I remember reading Pride and Prejudice and thinking, 'How did she know that was the predicament I was going to be in?' "Because of that I couldn't engage with her books or just enjoy them the same as everybody else did." It was only when Colin Firth appeared in the BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that her interest in Austen was reawakened.

"Colin Firth made Austen much more accessible for me," she said. "That BBC production was the first time I was actually able to just enjoy the story for what it was." She credits Mr Darcy's "wonderful, iconic" wet shirt scene with transforming Austen's fortunes. "When I lived in the house, the visitors who were coming to see us were classical readers or scholars. "But that was before Colin Firth," she said. "Since then, Jane has gone from being somebody who was cherished by academics to somebody who is appreciated by millions around the world who may have never even have read one of the books, but they love a movie and they love Mr Darcy." telegraph
Austen werd geboren in Hampshire. Haar vader was een geestelijke. Het grootste deel van haar leven bleef zij in haar geboortestreek. Austen had zes broers en een oudere zuster, Cassandra, met wie zij zeer hecht was. Het enige onbetwiste portret van Jane Austen is een gekleurde schets die door Cassandra werd gemaakt en nu in de National Portrait Gallery in Londen hangt. In 1801 verhuisde de familie naar Bath. In 1802 werd Austen ten huwelijk gevraagd door de rijke Harris Bigg-Wither en zij stemde toe; de volgende dag deelde ze echter mee dat zij haar woord niet kon houden en trok haar instemming in. De reden hiervoor is niet bekend, maar Austen is nooit getrouwd. Na de dood van haar vader in 1805 woonden Jane, haar zuster en haar moeder daar nog verscheidene jaren tot zij in 1809 naar Chawton verhuisden. Hier had haar rijke broer Edward een landgoed met een plattelandshuisje, dat hij aan zijn moeder en zusters schonk (dit huis is tegenwoordig open voor het publiek). Zelfs nadat zij naam gemaakt had als romanschrijfster bleef zij in relatieve stilte leven, maar haar gezondheid ging sterk achteruit. Er wordt nu aangenomen dat zij de ziekte van Addison had, waarvan toen de oorzaak nog onbekend was. Ze reisde naar Winchester om behandeling te zoeken, maar stierf daar en werd begraven in de kathedraal.
Tot Austens beroemdste werk behoort de roman Emma. Het boek wordt vaak aangehaald vanwege de perfectie van vorm. Moderne critici blijven ook nieuwe perspectieven ontdekken op het scherpe commentaar van Austen betreffende de klasse van jonge, ongehuwde, aristocratische Engelse vrouwen in de vroege 19e eeuw.

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