|(Somehow snapping a photo of the table like some creepy voyeur through the window felt less tacky than doing so inside the museum. I don't know, I work in mysterious ways.)|
Making one of my usual literary pilgrimages in the UK, I visited Jane Austen's house in Chawton, Hampshire over the bank holiday weekend, where I gushed like a school girl over her writing table, the modest wooden surface on which Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion were written (and Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey revised). I then had the audacity to let it remind me of the far less accomplished short stories and essays I used to write at my little bistro table in the window of my Chicago studio apartment during grad school--one of which was a precursor to the novel manuscript I'm currently revising. Will have to possess the diligence, patience, and humility of Jane to see where that one ends up. :)
My gratitude to the Jane Austen's House Museum, at any rate, for a meaningful visit. Not only did I see the table where such great works were created, but I saw (and shamelessly bought a replica of!) the turquoise and gold ring that Kelly Clarkson bought at auction and would've taken out of the country if the museum hadn't bought it back, and I spoke with Jane's great-great-nephew in the drawing room; he seemed delighted that I was staying in the old garden cottage of his family's historic estate, where the same hedges grow that Jane would've strolled by. The ultimate past-meets-present experience that I shall be over the moon about for some time, reveling in the awesome that is Austen.
|Taking the air with a turn about the garden. Dear me, if only I'd packed my good bonnet.|