About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jane Austen

Welcome to the world of J as in jam, juggernaut, jumpsuit, jack-in-the-box, jaunty, and my two dearest British friends Jane and Jill.  Last year while in England, I had the pleasure of visiting the Jane Austen Museum in Chawton, Hampshire, and learned more about her as a person.  In Wikipedia, it states that "Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security."

Jane published most of her mature work while living in the lovely village of Chawton only a few miles from her birthplace, Steventon.  She was born December 16, 1775, and died July 18, 1817.  Most people are aware of her major works that, to this day, are read worldwide - books like "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," "Emma," "Persuasion," and "Northanger Abbey." 

In 1997, I visited England for the first time and my hostess took me to Blickling Hall where the movie "Sense and Sensibility" had been filmed.  It was while wandering the gardens there that I had an overwhelming feeling that I belonged there - in the country of England.  I've since returned many times and always feel that I should have been born there, even though my grandparents felt the urge to immigrate to the "new world " of Canada.
Last year, 2016, I was so pleased to visit the museum which had been Jane's home and where she wrote many, if not most, of her books.  It was almost eerie to wander inside the house, peeking into rooms where she had not only written, but had taken her meals and where she had slept. I wanted to try out her bed, but thought it wouldn't be very genteel to do so.  Instead I took a photo but it didn't turn out well. Here are a few of my photos from that day.
Outside, at the back of the house were several outbuildings where there was an antique donkey cart, which probably took Jane and her family to friends or relatives to visit. Also, there was an old brick oven and cooking area where the hired help would prepare their meals.
The best part of my visit, though, was the gardens! Like all English country gardens, they took my breath away.  I sat on a bench where Jane might have sat contemplating how her characters would develop while she breathed in the gentle English breezes.
After my own private contemplations, I began to wander around taking photos of various flowers and plants.  I was in my glory and my hosts finally came looking for me. All they were concerned about was that I was enjoying my visit.

And if you are ever in England and are a Jane Austen fan, I'd highly recommend a visit to the museum.  There is a lovely pub  called The Greyfriars immediately across the street where you can get a nice lunch either before or after your visit.   Here's a photo of it:
Hope you enjoyed a virtual visit to the Jane Austen Museum and may you have a jolly week!

13 comments:

Trubes said...

Hello leslie,
I do like Jane Austen's works but haven't read them all, doubt that i will
now but have got a dvd of Mansfield Park and Emma to view.
Sadly, I don't read much literature now as my eye sight is not too good, so
spend much more time on my PC.
The pictures of the house are lovely, I particularly like the fireplace, but most
of all I love her little desk.
Most interesting post, thanks for sharing,
best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.

ellen b said...

Love this post! Thanks for sharing all this great info on Jane. Looks like we missed a lot during our literary tour with our daughter back in 2004. I guess we'll just have to go back! Hope you have a good week Leslie.

Melody Steenkamp said...

wonderful post and photo's Leslie...

I did not know that lady untill I joined abc... there was a blogger who had several entries featuring her , although I can't remember who that was.

Have a nice ABC-day / -week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
http://melodymusic.nl/20-j/

photowannabe said...

A beautiful museum and flowers. I would have enjoyed being on that adventure with you.

Photo Cache said...

Oh yeah. I really enjoyed this. I love Pride and Prejudice, of course.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely series of photos of Jane Austen's home and great post for J and riddled with other j words ~ thanks

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Roger Owen Green said...

hope you have many more trips!
ROG, ABCW

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

Jane Austen was one of my eldest daughter's favorite authors when she was in High School. My wife and I always encouraged her to read the book, before watching a movie based on it. However, in Austen's case, it was best for her to watch the movies first, before reading the books. Sometimes she had a difficult time following the text, because of the Archaic English. Blessings!

Klara S said...

Thank you for this virtual visit. Maybe I'm not the biggest fan, but I'd love to see that place thanks to you.

Joy said...

I can just imagine here coming out of that door like a character from one of her books. Interesting visit.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Wow, oh, wow, oh wow! I would definitely visit this museum if I'm ever in that part of the world. Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice is my #2 favorite book of all times. Until I read Jane Eyre a few years ago, P&P was #1 for 40 years.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

does visiting, inspire you to write?

LindyLou Mac said...

Calling by from ABC Wednesday,lovely to read about Jane Austen.