Jane Austen Magic
As we arrived in the village the rain stopped, the sun came out and the garden was filled with the scent of roses – magic.
And it got better. Surprised to see the admission prices had been covered by a notice saying ‘Free’, we discovered that we had arrived on the 199th anniversary of Jane’s arrival at the house with her mother and sister Cassandra on 7th June.
The interior is fascinating and evocative, laid out in a way that displays family relics yet preserves the feel of the house at the time the Austen’s lived there. Particularly moving is Jane and Cassandra’s bedroom with their niece Caroline’s description of the last time she saw Jane, sitting by the fireside in that room, just before she died.
More cheerful is Jane’s little donkey carriage, the patchwork coverlet the Austen ladies made and the pretty Gothic window that her brother had put into the drawing room so the ladies could sit and look out onto the garden.
Also in the dining parlour is part of the dinner service that Jane, her brother Edward and her niece Fanny went to buy for Edward at the Wedgwood showrooms in London – exactly as she describes it in a letter to Cassandra.