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If you ever want to visit the British Museum and you can visit the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford instead, you should give it a serious thought! I’ve been to both and from my experience at the British Museum, I can just say that it’s way too busy to my taste. I definitely prefer the Ashmolean Museum where it’s much quieter and you can enjoy the exhibitions and the information in your own time and space. We found that there’s a lot more on display at this museum about Ancient Egypt. As we visited quite a few other places in Oxford, sadly, we couldn’t go through the complete museum and had to leave after visiting the two sections: Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. At the British Museum, I feel ‘pushed‘ by the crowd and it’s really not a pleasure. Maybe I’m too much of a ‘reader of information‘ than some other people who just go to ‘look’. Also, I try to avoid crowded places and this is my experience at the British Museum. When you’re finished with your visit to the Ashmolean in Oxford, you surely need to find the Formosan tea bar, which is an independent business established in Oxford by a local Taiwanese entrepreneur. Enjoy your visit!

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I’m back! With Jane! as I promised in about 4 posts ago. If you’ve read the post saying…

“Let’s take the road”,
you would have read about my sudden idea – or my “on the spur of the moment”-idea to “take the road”. We drove south, to the direction to Southampton and  went on the small countryside roads. On the roadmap we saw that we were near Jane Austen’s house and I was really excited and suggested that we go there. By looking at the images at the bottom of this post, you will agree with me that the garden is beautiful! I wish my garden was as big as this one! It was interesting to visit the house, but there were many other people too and some rooms are really small and you sometimes couldn’t look at everything in detail. We weren’t allowed to take pictures indoors. There are security cameras in all the rooms, but I’ve found a website where you can view the rooms in the house too. At the bottom of my post you can follow the museum-house-link to view more of the rooms. I’ve added the basin, Jane’s room and her piano from the museum-house-site here. Information in this post was found on the sites at the bottom of this post. Do enjoy!

GOOD MANNERS!..take note!

If you’re looking for “free” images/photos and you want to use some of these in the post, which I took myself, that’s fine, but may I kindly ask you to leave me a message by asking permission when you do need to use some of the pictures.

Jane Austen, one of England’s foremost novelists, was never publicly acknowledged as a writer during her lifetime. She was born on December 16, 1775, at Steventon Rectory in Hampshire, the seventh child of a country clergyman and his wife, George and Cassandra Austen. She was primarily educated at home, benefiting from her father’s extensive library and the schoolroom atmosphere created by Mr. Austen’s live-in pupils. Her closest friend was her only sister, Cassandra, almost three years her senior.

Though Austen lived a quiet life, she had unusual access to the greater world, primarily through her brothers. Francis (Frank) and Charles, officers in the Royal Navy, served on ships around the world and saw action in the Napoleonic Wars. Henry, who eventually became a clergyman like his father and his brother James, was an officer in the militia and later a banker. Austen visited Henry in London, where she attended the theater, art exhibitions, and social events and also corrected proofs of her novels. Her brother Edward was adopted by wealthy cousins, the Knights, becoming their heir and later taking their name. On extended visits to Godmersham, Edward’s estate in Kent, Austen and her sister took part in the privileged life of the landed gentry, which is reflected in all her fiction.

As a child Austen began writing comic stories, now referred to as the Juvenilia. Her first mature work, composed when she was about 19, was a novella, Lady Susan, written in epistolary form (as a series of letters). This early fiction was preserved by her family but was not published until long after her death.
In her early twenties Austen wrote the novels that later became Sense and Sensibility (first called “Elinor and Marianne”) and Pride and Prejudice (originally “First Impressions”). Her father sent a letter offering the manuscript of “First Impressions” to a publisher soon after it was finished in 1797, but his offer was rejected by return post. Austen continued writing, revising “Elinor and Marianne” and completing a novel called “Susan” (later to become Northanger Abbey). In 1803 Austen sold “Susan” for £10 to a publisher, who promised early publication, but the manuscript languished in his archives until it was repurchased a year before Austen’s death for the price the publisher had paid her.

When Austen was 25 years old, her father retired, and she and Cassandra moved with their parents to Bath, residing first at 4 Sydney Place. During the five years she lived in Bath (1801-1806), Austen began one novel, The Watsons, which she never completed. After Mr. Austen’s death, Austen’s brothers contributed funds to assist their sisters and widowed mother. Mrs. Austen and her daughters set up housekeeping with their close friend Martha Lloyd. Together they moved to Southampton in 1806 and economized by sharing a house with Frank and his family.

In 1809 Edward provided the women a comfortable cottage in the village of Chawton, near his Hampshire manor house. This was the beginning of Austen’s most productive period. In 1811, at the age of 35, Austen published Sense and Sensibility, which identified the author as “a Lady.” Pride and Prejudice followed in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1815. The title page of each book referred to one or two of Austen’s earlier novels—capitalizing on her growing reputation—but did not provide her name.


Chawton cottage…Jane’s house
Austen began writing the novel that would be called Persuasion in 1815 and finished it the following year, by which time, however, her health was beginning to fail. The probable cause of her illness was Addison’s Disease. In 1816 Henry Austen repurchased the rights to “Susan,” which Austen revised and renamed “Catherine.”

During a brief period of strength early in 1817, Austen began the fragment later called Sanditon, but by March she was too ill to work. She and Cassandra moved to 8 College Street in Winchester to be near her doctor. Austen died in the early hours of July 18, 1817, and a few days later was buried in Winchester Cathedral. She was 41 years old. Interestingly, Austen’s gravestone, which is visited by hundreds of admirers each year, does not even mention that she was an author.

Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published together in December 1817 with a “Biographical Notice” written by Henry, in which Jane Austen was, for the first time in one of her novels, identified as the author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Austen’s novels have never been out of print and are often included on lists of readers’ favorites. Her surviving letters are also a source of entertainment and biographical information (Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deirdre Le Faye, Oxford University Press, 1995).


4 Sydney Place, Bath…where she lived too.

A Selection of Biographies
J. E. Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections, edited by Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford University Press, 2002) (also contains biographical memoirs by Austen’s brother Henry and her nieces Anna Lefroy and Caroline Austen).

Jan Fergus, Jane Austen: A Literary Life (Macmillan Press, 1991).

Park Honan, Jane Austen: Her Life (St. Martin’s Press, 1987).

Elizabeth Jenkins, Jane Austen: A Biography (1938 and later reprints).

Deirdre Le Faye, Jane Austen: A Family Record (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997).

Cassandra Elizabeth (1773-1845) was Jane Austen’s only sister, and her closest confidante. Over a hundred letters from Jane Austen to Cassandra have survived, giving us our most intimate look at some of the details of Jane Austen’s life. Cassandra’s fiancé Thomas Fowle died of yellow fever in the Caribbean in 1797; he had gone there as a military chaplain. Possibly Cassandra’s experience is reflected in Mrs. Musgrove and Mrs. Croft’s abomination of “long engagements” and “uncertain engagements” in Jane Austen’s Persuasion (he and Cassandra had continued engaged since about 1794, due to lack of money; see “Money and Marriage”). After this, Cassandra never married. (See Cassandra’s poem on love.) Cassandra (like Jane) frequently visited her brothers and their families, and other relatives and friends (it was the separations between herself and Jane, resulting from visits on which they did not both go, that necessitated the letters between them).

 This poem was written by her sister, Cassandra, to Jane

2. MISS AUSTEN (CASSANDRA).
Love, they say, is like a rose;
I’m sure ’tis like the wind that blows,
For not a human creature knows
How it comes or where it goes.
It is the cause of many woes:
It swells the eyes and reds the nose,
And very often changes those
Who once were friends to bitter foes.
But let us now the scene transpose
And think no more of tears and throes.
Why may we not as well suppose
A smiling face the urchin shows?
And when with joy the bosom glows,
And when the heart has full repose,
‘Tis mutual love the gift bestows.

 Jane Austen enjoyed social events, and her early letters tell of dances and parties she attended in Hampshire, and also of visits to London, Bath, Southampton etc., where she attended plays and such. There is a famous statement by one Mrs. Mitford that Jane was the “the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers” (however, Mrs. Mitford seems to have had a personal jealousy against Jane Austen, and it is hard to reconcile this description with the Jane Austen who wrote The Three Sisters before she was eighteen).

In January 1805 her father died. As would have been the case for the Bennets in Pride and Prejudice if Mr. Bennet had died, the income due to the remaining family (Mrs. Austen and her two daughters, the only children still at home) was considerably reduced — since most of Mr. Austen’s income had come from clerical “livings” which lapsed with his death. So they were largely dependent on support from the Austen brothers (and a relatively small amount of money left to Cassandra by her fiancé), summing to a total of about £450 yearly. Later in 1805, Martha Lloyd (sister of James Austen’s wife) came to live with Mrs. Austen, Cassandra, and Jane, after her own mother had died.

QUOTES of Jane
I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them.
—-
To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.

Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?
—-
One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.
Jane Austen, Emma
Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.
Jane Austen, Emma
A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Everybody likes to go their own way–to choose their own time and manner of devotion.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

I pay very little regard…to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

One cannot fix one’s eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

The enthusiasm of a woman’s love is even beyond the biographer’s.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Where any one body of educated men, of whatever denomination, are condemned indiscriminately, there must be a deficiency of information, or…of something else.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

In every power, of which taste is the foundation, excellence is pretty fairly divided between the sexes.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, 1818

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811
Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I have no pretensions whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
No one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously…. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, first line.

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Basin

Jane’s bedroom

Her Piano..not her real piano, but they believe that her piano looked like this one.

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How could I resist the African Marigolds!!

 
http://www.artworksgallery.co.uk/book.html

http://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/

http://www.janeaustensociety.org.uk/

http://www.peopleandprofiles.com/ProfileLinks-28/Jane%20Austen.html?profile_id=235&type=link&st=160&linkid=28

http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janelife.html#favniece

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