My Walk Through Jane Austen's World
If you follow me on Instagram you're probably sick of me posting about my trip to Jane Austen's House Museum in England last fall. Well, get over it.
We arrived jet-lagged and exhausted after a weekend stopover in Amsterdam (more on that in a future post). After figuring out the left-side driving business we cruised in our little Fiat to Alton and it was so surreal I had to pinch myself. I felt as if I had stepped directly into fiction and Mr. Darcy or the Dashwood sisters would come walking over the horizon any minute. The roundabouts. The green, English countryside. The Land Rovers everywhere! I was in heaven.
I stepped out of the car in front of a magnificent field of tall grass and gold. The air was crisp and cool and the sounds of morning were everywhere. I imagined Jane Austen walking the paths in front of me, her writing-calloused fingers running along the fence posts as she walked by, lost in thought, one of her stories playing through her mind.
As we walked into the home a sudden sense of happiness woke me up. I was giddy. It felt a bit like playing make believe.
Leaning over an ink-stained desk while trying to write with a feather quill pen was one thing, seeing her beautiful writing table was another!
It was a magical day & I'll never forget the smell of lavender everywhere.
We stayed in Winchester the next two nights. Jane loved Winchester, was taken there when she became ill, and, sadly, died there at the young age of forty-one. I learned more about her personal life while walking through Winchester Cathedral where she was laid to rest. 2017 marked the 200-year anniversary of her death and they had a lovely display on her life and work. I felt a sense of reverence and respect and uttered a tiny "Thank You" under my breath before saying goodbye.