On a day stolen from summer, we visited the pretty Hampshire village of Chawton – home of Jane Austen. I’d visited her cottage before but, now that I’m writing my book about Jane Austen addicts, I wanted to see it again. It’s such a lovely place and I adored seeing the pretty topaz crosses worn by Jane and her sister, Cassandra. And the gift shop is an Austen addicts’ dream with books galore and the brooding image of Darcy everywhere!
I’d also booked for a tour of Chawton House Library - the place referred to as the ‘Great House’ in the letters of Jane Austen, and owned by her brother, Edward. There are some fabulous portraits and wooden pannelling, and the library is a delight featuring many rare books by women writers published between 1600 to 1830.
Whilst walking in the grounds, I managed to take a tumble – Marianne Dashwood style – and badly twisted my ankle. But, despite the fact that I was in Austen-land, there were no handsome men on horseback to rescue me and I had to do my best to hobble my way back to where my husband was painting .
If you’d like to see his lovely paintings of Chawton, visit his blog here: