Sunday, April 22, 2012

Literary Europe IX - Jane Austen's House at Chawton

Hello!!!  Still running behind in my posts, but working on catching up!

Shortly after my trip to Norway, I took a day trip out to the English village of Chawton to see Jane Austen's house there!  (There are a total of 3 - I think - one in Bath, one in Winchester (which I blogged about previously here) and the one in Chawton (near Alton), which is where the museum is.)

The house was great to see and walk through.  However, while the museum clearly did their best to put together the history behind Jane, since Cassandra burned most of her letters, she still remains a mystery.  Which leaves some difficulty for the museum.  There was a lot of information on her relatives, some info on Jane herself, and some belongings of hers and her family, though greedy me wishes there was a bit more (though, of course, it's not really the museum's fault that the information just no longer exists).  Besides the lack of info on Jane, the museum was a great place to visit.  It was a cute, quaint house (though feels bigger on the inside than the outside, oddly enough).  (Also, for anyone planning a trip there, it may have been a bit easier to get to by car, but my taxi drivers were quite entertaining to and from the train station.)

But, while I could sit here and ramble on and on about the house, I might as well show you some pictures of it instead!
Side of the house, and current entrance.
The actual donkey carriage Jane and Cassandra used!

Kitchen.  Separated from house.

Lock of Jane's Hair!  (And in the corner, one of the toapz crosses Jane and Cassandra owned.)

They believe the original entrance (the one used by Jane's family) is where the window is now.

Dining/breakfast table.

Okay I was pretty excited to see this - this is Jane's writing table!  Very small, but fitting, I'm sure.  Apparently she'd eat breakfast with her family, then sit at this table and write shortly after.  Also they think her family took on extra chores so she could spend the mornings writing.

Jane & Cassandra's bedroom!
A replica bed of the one they might've had.

Another room upstairs, now used for museum purposes.

Hall way leading to various rooms.

Side of the house - view from the (dye) garden.

Back of the house.

Not the most photographic background, but proof I was there!

Across the street - a recommended pub and tea room.

I opted for the tea room...totally worth it!

Had some great Darjeeling tea, but also possibly the best cake I've ever had in my life!  Light and airy and perfect and delicious!  And great for those sugar lows!

Clever name for the tea room :)
Some other cute houses around Chawton :)

One of the houses decided to name themselves this after one of Jane's stories.

Didn't go on the full "Austen Trail" but did explore around the area a bit.

Jane's mum and sister are burried at the small chapel/church down the street.
All in all, a great time at Jane Austen's Chawton home!!!

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