Quote Jane

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

vrijdag 27 mei 2011

It came as a considerable shock when her parents suddenly announced in 1801 that the family would be moving away to Bath.

Regency Bath was a place of frivolity, fashion and incessant social striving and provided rich material for Jane Austen's satiric pen.

It came as a considerable shock when her parents suddenly announced in 1801 that the family would be moving away to Bath. Mr Austen would give the Steventon living to his son James and retire to Bath with his wife and two daughters. At this time Jane was 26 years old. The next four years were going to be difficult ones for Jane Austen.

They lived at several addresses in Bath such as Green Park and Gay Street, but for the most part at 4 Sydney Place.

Today, visitors to Bath can take those very walks, and see the very places where Austen’s characters danced and dreamed. An hour and a half from London, Bath is a beautifully preserved Georgian town, a spa town, as it was in Austen’s day. The streets, crescents and gardens that Austen saw are much as they were in her day.

The Ball Room

This is the largest 18th century room in Bath.
Dancing was very popular
 and balls were held
 at least twice a week,
attracting 800 to 1,200 guests at a time.
The high ceiling provided good ventilation
 on crowded ball nights
 and windows set at a high level
prevented outsiders from looking in.

Only two of Jane Austen's novels are set in Bath: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published in 1818. Both mention the Assembly Rooms, which Jane Austen herself visited.  the Assembly Roomswhere people would gather to play cards, dance and take tea

'Mrs Allen was so long in dressing, that they did not enter the ball-room till late. The season was full, the room crowded, and the two ladies squeezed in as well as they could. As for Mr Allen, he repaired directly to the card-room, and left them to enjoy a mob by themselves.' Northanger Abbey, 1818
Austen’s city still remembers her; at the Jane Austen Centre on Gay Street visitors can learn all about Bath in her day and the importance of Bath in her life and work. In September, the annual Jane Austen Festival celebrates the beloved author with nine days of exhibitions, performances and literary events.

The main highlights include the Pump Room - the social heart of the city during Austen's time where people registered on arrival in the city and took the water.

The Royal Crescent - the most impressive address, where people enjoyed promenading and generally being seen;

 Gravel Walk - the location of a touching love scene in the novel 'Persuasion';

A short stroll from the Jane Austen Centre on Gay Street is Gravel Walk, just off Queen’s Parade Place. Known as something of a Lover’s Lane in Jane Austen’s day, the path was a route for sedan chairs heading to and from the town centre and following th…

The Sedan Chair was invented in France and later introduced to Britain. It consisted of a covered box carried on two poles, and proved invaluable to rich people traveling to social gatherings in their finery, in the days when there were no pavements and the streets could become very muddy. The entrances to the grand Georgian houses were made large enough to enable chairs to be carried right upto the door so the occupant would not get wet!


In 1806 they moved from Bath, first to Clifton, and then, in autumn 1806, to Southampton. Two years later, Jane remembered (in a letter to Cassandra) with "what happy feelings of Escape!" she had left Bath.

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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Fashion - Regency 1

Edward Austen Leigh wrote down this description of Jane's appearence in the years just after the family left Southampton.

"She was tall and slender; her face was rounded with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes.

Her curly brown hair escaped all round her forehead, but from the time of her coming to live at Chawton she always wore a cap, except when her nieces had her in London and forbade it."

Henry Austen said of his sister, " Her stature rather exceeded the middle height; her carriage anad deportment were quiet but graceful; her complexion of the finest texture, it might with truth be said that her eloquent blood spoke through her modest cheek." Henry applied these lines to Jane: " Her pure and eloquent blood spake in her cheeks and so distinctly wrought that you had almost said her body thought."

Austen's niece Caroline recollected: "As to my aunt's personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour—a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap