I recently visited Jane Autsten’s House in Chawton, Hampshire and if you can make it there it is definitely worth a visit.
They have a wide ranging collection which is comprised of many of Jane’s belongings, including jewelry, her writing table, manuscript letters and a number of her music pieces which were written in her own hand. What’s more the house itself is wonderful to walk around as you really can soak up the atmosphere, and the garden is simply beautiful in Summer, with a huge array of flowers.
The items that I wanted to show you today however, relate to crafting. I think it is fascinating to see people’s creations through the ages and how we are still working on very similar pieces today. It is a connection through time, just as we may quilt, so did Jane, her sister Cassandra and her Mother. In fact the first photo is a picture of a quilt created by the three of them. It is behind glass in the museum, as of course it needs protection to preserve it, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to reach out and touch something that was sewn by Jane. Maybe as she stitched thoughts of Mr Darcy ran through her head.
The second picture is of a lace collar made by Jane. The intricacy of this is amazing and it must have accounted for many hours of work.
Finally, in Jane’s bedroom, we have her sewing box. Maybe a little more ornate than the types we have today, but in many ways so similar.
I hope you have enjoyed this little peak behind the doors of the house in Chawton. 2013 is the bicentenary of Pride & Prejudice, and throughout the year they have exhibitions celebrating this. Currently they are showing costumes from the 1995 BBC adaptation of the book, you may just catch a glimpse of a wet muslin shirt, and that has to be worth a visit.