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

zondag 14 september 2014

10 and 11 Henrietta Street, 1813

10 Henrietta Street is where author Jane Austen was staying (it was her brothers flat), when that she wrote most of her best letters. These letters have been published by Oxford University Press; the third edition by Deidre Le Faye who works at the British Museum. Actress, Amanda Root, unveiled a green plaque here in 1999 shadyoldlady

In 1813, Henry, who was four years older than Jane, lost his wife after a painful and debilitating illness. In contrast, his Uncle Leigh Perrot and brother Edward helped to secure his appointment as Receiver-General for Oxfordshire,  a most definite honor. Soon after Eliza’s death, Henry moved to rooms over Tilson’s bank on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden, a location more centrally located in London. Both Jane and Fanny Knight, their niece, visited him there in the spring of 1814, when Mansfield Park was with the publisher.

As was the custom, Jane brought lists of items to purchase  in Town for those who had remained behind in the countryside. In her biography, Constance Hill writes about Jane’s shopping experience:
“I hope,” she writes to her sister, “that I shall find some poplin at Layton and Shear’s that will tempt me to buy it. If I do it shall be sent to Chawton, as half will be for you; for I depend upon your being so kind as to accept it . . . It will be a great pleasure to me. Don’t say a word. I only wish you could choose it too. I shall send twenty yards.” Layton and Shear’s shop, we find, was at 11, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. digital.library./austen/
On 24th May 1813 Jane wrote, “I went the day before (Friday) to Layton’s as I proposed, & got my Mother’s gown, 7 yds at 6/6.” [ie six shillings and six pence a yard]

“We did go to Layton & Shear’s before Breakfast. Very pretty English poplins at 4 [shillings and] 3 [pence]. Irish ditto at 6 [shillings] – more pretty certainly – beautiful.” Later in the same letter she writes to Cassandra, “…I am going to treat myself with spending [my superfluous wealth myself. I hope at least I shall find some poplin at Layton & Shears that will tempt me to buy it. If I do, it shall be sent to Chawton, as half will be for you … I shall send 20 yards.”

No. 10 was erected in 1726 under a sixty-oneyear building lease granted to Samuel Denton of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, linen draper. The first occupant was a Mr. Bedford Loddington. (ref. 40) Between 1807 and 1816 the house was occupied by the bankers Austen, Maunde and Tilson, of whom Jane Austen's brother Henry was a partner; the novelist herself stayed here with her brother in 1813 and 1814.

The interior of No. 10 has little of interest save for the original staircase. This has two differing types of turned baluster, two to a tread, the change of type occurring at second-floor level. The bracketed step-ends are similar to those at No. 9, as is the panelling in the stair compartment. The second-floor rooms retain features of interest, the front room having its original panelling and box-cornice, and the main rear room a chimneypiece of Adam character.(ref. 41) british-history


Henrietta St.: Wednesday (March 9).
Well, we went to the play again last night, and as we were out a great part of the morning too, shopping, and seeing the Indian jugglers, I am very glad to be quiet now till dressing time. We are to dine at the Tilsons', and to-morrow at Mr. Spencer's.
We had not done breakfast yesterday when Mr. J. Plumptre appeared to say that he had secured a box. Henry asked him to dine here, which I fancy he was very happy to do, and so at five o'clock we four sat down to table together while the master of the house was preparing for going out himself. The "Farmer's Wife" is a musical thing in three acts, and, as Edward was steady in not staying for anything more, we were at home before ten.
Fanny and Mr. J. P. are delighted with Miss S., and her merit in singing is, I dare say, very great; that she gave me no pleasure is no reflection upon her, nor, I hope, upon myself, being what Nature made me on that article. All that I am sensible of in Miss S. is a pleasing person and no skill in acting. We had Mathews, Liston, and Emery; of course, some amusement.
Our friends were off before half-past eight this morning, and had the prospect of a heavy cold journey before them. I think they both liked their visit very much. I am sure Fanny did. Henry sees decided attachment between her and his new acquaintance.
I have a cold, too, as well as my mother and Martha. Let it be a generous emulation between us which can get rid of it first.
I wear my gauze gown to-day, long sleeves and all. I shall see how they succeed, but as yet I have no reason to suppose long sleeves are allowable. I have lowered the bosom, especially at the corners, and plaited black satin ribbon round the top. Such will be my costume of vine-leaves and paste.
Prepare for a play the very first evening, I rather think Covent Garden, to see Young in "Richard." I have answered for your little companion's being conveyed to Keppel St. immediately. I have never yet been able to get there myself, but hope I shall soon.
What cruel weather this is! and here is Lord Portsmouth married, too, to Miss Hanson.[1]
Henry has finished "Mansfield Park," and his approbation has not lessened. He found the last half of the last volume extremely interesting.
I suppose my mother recollects that she gave me no money for paying Brecknell and Twining, and my funds will not supply enough.
We are home in such good time that I can finish my letter to-night, which will be better than getting up to do it to-morrow, especially as, on account of my cold, which has been very heavy in my head this evening, I rather think of lying in bed later than usual. I would not but be well enough to go to Hertford St. on any account.
We met only Genl. Chowne to-day, who has not much to say for himself. I was ready to laugh at the remembrance of Frederick, and such a different Frederick as we chose to fancy him to the real Christopher!
Mrs. Tilson had long sleeves, too, and she assured me that they are worn in the evening by many. I was glad to hear this. She dines here, I believe, next Tuesday.
On Friday we are to be snug with only Mr. Barlowe and an evening of business. I am so pleased that the mead is brewed. Love to all. [Words omitted in Brabourne edition: "If Cassandra has filled my Bed with fleas, I am sure they must bite herself."] I have written to Mrs. Hill, and care for nobody.
Yours affectionately,
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Mr. Gray.
[1] His second wife. He died in 1853, and was succeeded by his brother, the father of the present earl.pemberley
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