Right then, last update from this years trip to Bath, wasn’t that what I said? Well here goes.
As I mentioned in my previous post, between the dance workshop in the morning and the ball in the evening we (me, Jeanette and Isabel) spent the time down in the little village of Chawton, visiting the Jane Austen House Museum!!
Well actually first of all (since we were all three of us starving and in desperate need of food) we made a stop at the lovely little tea room just across the road from the museum; “Cassandra’s Cup”.
I was quite surprised at how people seemed to react to us being in costume. Of course I am not by this stage unused to people giving me odd looks when I dress up in costume, but I somehow thought they would be used to it in a place like this… But apparently not. I’m happy we diecided to wear our Regency dresses though, it added to the experience!!
After we had were done at Cassandra’s Cup, having now made sure we were not going to faint from lack of food while we enjoyed the wonders of Chawton Cottage, we headed across the road and started taking pictures…
I’ve been to Chawton Cottage once before, I think it was in 2006 when I was still a relatively new Janeite. I was over with all my family (on a trip that I had done most of the planning for, and so consequently it included lots of things like this! Not sure if everyone was quite as enthusiastic about it as I was…) and we all went here. It was a dream come true to come to this place for me, and I have long wanted to go back there again. So I was more than a little delighted to be given this chance to explore the place further!
A lot of of course was the same as when I went there before, (not that I mind in the least seeing it all again!!), but a great improvement was that you were now permitted to take photos inside the house! Huzzah!!
It felt so special to me to walk around in this house where Jane Austen lived! To see all the things which have belonged to her and which she knew so well. Everyday objects, letters, a lock of her hair, early editions of her work, and of course her writing table. There is no denying the fact that this table, this very small table standing close to the window in the dining room, is one of the most fantastic things to see there! It doesn’t look like much to the world perhaps, but it is on this table that some of history’s greatest literary works were born! I was quite in awe standing there looking at it, for me it is a holy object!
Oh dear, it sounds quite ridiculous doesn’t it, getting so worked up over a table! But I think you, my dear readers, will understand, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. 🙂
Two topaz crosses that belonged to Jane and Cassandra, given to them by their sailor brother Charles, believed to be the inspiration for the cross Fanny Price is given by her sailor brother in Mansfield Park
Since this is the year of Sense and Sensibility they had a few of the costumes from the two most recent film adaptations of this book on display at the cottage. We were all pretty excited over that fact! We could even TOUCH them!! 😀 Not sure if you were supposed to do so though…
Before leaving we obviously had to pay a visit to the museum gift shop! This place is dangerous! Too many nice things that you end up wanting!!
And so that my friends concludes my review of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath 2011 (well, and a few other things outside of the festival program). I am so glad of having this chance to re-live it in a way when sharing my experience with you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. And NOW, I just can’t wait for next years festival!!