Bath part 9 – Chawton Cottage

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!!

Chawton Cottage!

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”.

Cassandra’s Cup, very aptly named I think!

A chocolate dessert to die for!!

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…

Nice sign eh? 😉

Me outside Chawton Cottage


One very happy girl!!


Two more happy girls!

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!

JANE AUSTEN’S WRITING TABLE!!!!

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

A lock of Jane Austen’s hair!

Some things that belonged to the Austens

Me taking a picture of a quilt that Jane and Cassandra made

I love the fact that you are allowed to try out the Clementi piano at the museum! This piano didn’t actually belong to Jane, but she had one like it

Jeanette and Isabel

Even though it’s called a “cottage” it’s not actually THAT small…!

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…

Marianne Dashwood’s outfit from the 1995 version!!

Marianne Dashwood’s ballgown from the 2008 version!

Elinor Dashwood’s bonnet, 1995!

This thing is also a bonnet, believe it or not! Worn by Mrs Jennings in the 2008 version. I think it looks more like a giant cupcake or something… 😛

This is one thing I LOVE about going to places like this with people who are as obsessed as I am! We are ALL taking pictures of the same slightly odd things!!

The Austen’s kitchen

View from kitchen door into the garden

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!!

Browsing the wonderful museum shop! SOO many nice things!!

Yes we are!! Couldn’t have come up with a more accurate description for what we (at least me!) are!

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!!

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7 Responses to Bath part 9 – Chawton Cottage

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Aurora,
    I love this post. That picture of you at the pianoforte is my favorite. How did it sound? I think it is so cool that they let you play it.

    Jane’s writing table is very special. Thanks for taking a picture of it. Just imagine writing all those beautiful stories sitting at that little table. She must have been very disciplined, I think.

    I so enjoyed all the trip stories. Thank you for sharing.

    Jennifer

  2. Lady Disdain says:

    Hello!

    I’m so so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and I love love love your blog. I love that you’ve managed to make all these Regency style dresses and bonnets and everything. I thought I was a devoted fan, but I haven’t managed to make any costumes or anything.

    I’m insanely jealous of your visit to Austen’s home but so glad that you put up pictures – especially the one of Austen’s writing desk. I think I heard a ‘Hallelujah’ chorus when I saw that picture, haha. Well done on your blog. I look forward to visiting it frequently =)

    – A fellow Austen lover.

  3. Aurora says:

    Hi Jennifer! I know! I was really excited to get to play it! And it sounded great! That said, I didn’t have the courage to play it very loudly, but it did have a wonderful sound and feel to it! Even more so of course because of where it was!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed my trip stories! 🙂

    Hello Lady Disdain!
    Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you found it and I am so glad to hear that you like it! It is always SUCH a pleasure to “meet” fellow Austen lovers! 😀
    I hope you get the chance to visit Jane Austen’s house, for people like us (you know, us obsessed Janeites 😉 ) it is an unbelievable experinece! And that table…!! Words can’t even describe it! =)

  4. Mary says:

    What a fabulous trip! I’m enjoying reading your blog. You look lovely in your dresses – I think even Caroline Bingley would approve. Mary

  5. Aurora says:

    Thank you Mary! So glad you enjoy it! It was an absolutely amazing trip, I’m still dreaming back on it and looking forward to the next!

  6. The Jane Austen House Museum is set up as a fraud to deceive the public into believing that Jane Austen wrote the novels that bear her name. As I show in my recently published book “Jane Austen – a New Revelation” the novels were in fact written by her cousin, Eliza de Feuillide. Eliza could not publish them under her own name as she was the secret illegitimate daughter of Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India. The novels were not published from this house, as is falsely claimed on a plaque on the house, but from the home of Eliza de Feuillide in London. There is no evidence that the poorly educated Jane Austen wrote the novels. All of the manuscripts were destroyed and most of Jane Austen’s letters and all of Eliza’s letters were destroyed by the Austen family to conceal her authorship. What is told to you at the museum is little more than a fairy tale.

  7. Sonja and Louzanne says:

    Aurora

    My daughter (Louzanne) is a HUGE Jane Austin -fan. We are from South Africa and plan to visit the UK in July. I have now seen that Chawton is close to Alton -station and that the station is not manned! We need to hire a taxi from the station. Is it safe? We are two women alone on this journey and are afraid it won’t be safe to climb off at an unmanned station? Also, is the taxi safe for two women travelling alone in such a remote village? Please help us, we appreciate your opinion.

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