Exhibition ~ Rooms with a View: Open Windows in the 19th Century

When I travel, and when I have the good sense to have my camera with me, I most often take pictures of windows and doors – I am fascinated by these architectural details. But when I return, my husband invariably laments the lack of PEOPLE in my photos, completely bored by the endless stream of  such details on rarely identifiable buildings!  I often don’t disagree! – but I cannot help it – even as I look around my house, most of the artwork depicts windows and doorways, looking in and looking out. This says something about me psychologically I would suppose, but I needn’t go there today!

So I was intrigued to discover a special exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art  titled “Rooms with a View: The Open Windows in the 19th Century“:

This exhibition focuses on the Romantic motif of the open window as first captured by German, Danish, French, and Russian artists around 1810–20. These works include hushed, sparse rooms showing contemplative figures, studios with artists at work, and window views as sole motifs. The exhibition features some thirty oils and thirty works on paper by, among others, C. D. Friedrich, C. G. Carus, G. F. Kersting, Adolph Menzel, C. W. Eckersberg, Martinus Rørbye, Jean Alaux, and Léon Cogniet. Loans to the exhibition have come from museums in Germany, Denmark, France, Austria, Sweden, Italy, and the United States.

You can view a good number of the paintings in the exhibition here: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/open_window/images.asp

You can also read a review of the exhibition here at Ellen Moody’s blog.

[Image and text from the MET website]

Copyright @2011, by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

Follow Friday ~ The Westminster Detective Library

Murder will out …. Taking a slight detour from the usual Jane Austen and Regency Period fare here at Jane Austen in Vermont, I shall alert you today to the website The Westminster Detective Library

Hosted by McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland:

It is the mission of the Westminster Detective Library to catalog and make available online all the short fiction dealing with detectives and detection published in the United States before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891).

We have posted our working bibliography and will add full-text copy of its entries as we prepare them. We welcome comments and solicit both additional bibliographical entries and texts.

LeRoy Lad Panek
Mary M. Bendel-Simso
-McDaniel College

A work in progress, the site offers a short tales by Dickens, Poe, Wilkie Collins, and a good number of more obscure writers, the first story from 1834,  “A Story of Circumstantial Evidence” by Daniel O’Connell.  You can access the stories from the Bibliography, where you can browse by title, author, or chronologically.  Stories are formatted as they may have originally appeared in a journal or newspaper, but the handy “printer-friendly” button allows the more modern full-screen view you may print out for bed-time reading, the best place for any and all detective fiction.

As murder seems to be on my mind [more on my escape from the elegant Regency to the dark side of Victorian London with a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in a future post], I point you to a new work on just this subject: murder in Victorian Britain.  Judith Flanders, author of the very enjoyable informative work The Victorian Home, as well as Consuming Passions, and A Circle of Sisters, has just published The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime:


In the nineteenth century, murder – a rarity in reality – was ubiquitous in novels, in broadsides and ballads, in theatre and melodrama and opera – even in puppet shows and performing dog-acts. As Punch wrote, ‘We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of it.’

In this meticulously researched and compellingly written exploration of a century of murder, Judith Flanders examines some of the most gripping and gruesome cases, the famous and the obscure, the brutal and the pathetic – to build a rich and multi-faceted portrait of Victorian society. The Invention of Murder is both a gripping tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

‘Dare I say it would be a crime not to read this book?’  – Donna Leon

[Image and text from Judith Flanders website]

And so as I now appear to be obsessed with murder, I also remind you of the running of the Agatha Christie murder mysteries on Masterpiece Theatre – beginning this past Sunday with “Murder on the Orient Express“.  This PBS summer series includes: (online viewing dates in parentheses following the national broadcast date)

  • May 22 (May 23 – Jun 5) Poirot: “Murder on the Orient Express” (Encore)
  • (May 23 – Jun 21) “David Suchet on the Orient Express: A Masterpiece Special” 60 min. (Encore)*
  • May 29 (May 30 – Jun 12) Marple: “The Secret of Chimneys” (Encore)*
  • Jun 5 (Jun 6 – Jun 19) Poirot: “Appointment with Death” (Encore)*
  • Jun 12 (Jun 13 – Jun 26) Poirot: “The Third Girl” (Encore)*
  • Jun 19 (Jun 20 – Jul 19) Poirot: “Three Act Tragedy”
  • Jun 26 (Jun 27 – Jul 26) Poirot: “The Clocks”
  • Jul 3 (Jul 4 – Aug 2) Poirot: “The Hallowe’en Party”
  • Jul 10 (Jul 11 – Aug 9) Marple: “The Pale Horse 


Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont 

Austen on the Block! ~ Sotheby’s June 17, 2011

The exciting news this past week on the impending sale of the manuscript pages of Jane  Austen’s The Watsons certainly sent most us into a mild depression about how unattainable such a piece is for most of us. But today, Sotheby’s has made its New York June 17th auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts available online, and I see there are several Austen titles up for sale, still perhaps unattainable for most of us, but a little more reasonable just the same… again, one can only lament how Austen struggled to earn a pittance for her labors, and how Cassandra sold all the copyrights believing that her sister’s popularity had crested as she sank rather rapidly into obscurity!  Aah! Hindsight!

Here are the six lots for sale ~ you can go to the Sotheby’s website for more information on these lots and how to bid online:   

 Sotheby’s Sale No. NO8755: Fine Books and Manuscripts


Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 in.; 170 x 100 mm). Half-titles; light, scattered staining in all 3 vols. but withal a clean copy, a few short marginal tears in vol. 1, oxidized catchword in 1:O8, paper creased in lower right corner of 2:F1 and so printed. Contemporary mottled calf, smooth spines with gilt rules resembling chained links; spine labels lacking on vols. 1–2, vol. 1 boards detached, joints starting on vols. 2–3, craquelure on spines, minor loss to head of spine of vol. 3.   25,000—35,000 USD

 LOT 50

Sense and Sensibility. London: Printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1811 

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.; 161 x 98 mm). Lacks half-title in vol. 1 and terminal blanks in all 3 vols., half-title guarded in vol. 3, strong offsetting from morocco library label in vol. 1 to title-page, washed and pressed with residual foxing and staining throughout vol. 1, quires A–F in vol. 2, and quire B in vol. 3. Sympathetically bound in half mottled calf antique over marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments, russet and black lettering and numbering pieces, plain endpapers, edges uniformly marbled with boards.  15,000—25,000 USD

LOT 51

Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/16 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Lacks all half-titles, washed and pressed with residual staining and browning but less pronounced in vols. 2–3, strong offsetting from morocco label and binding to title-page and B1 in vol. 1, offsetting from binding to title-pages and terminal leaves in vols 2–3, short tears to inside lower left corners in vol. 1, quire B. Modern half black calf over marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments, red morocco labels, endpapers and edges plain.  10,000—15,000 USD

 LOT 52

Mansfield Park.London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814

3 volumes, 12mo (7 x 4 in.; 175 x 100 mm). Lacking final blanks in vols. 2–3 and all 3 half-titles, long tears at 1:P12 costing at least 4 words, quire 1:Q loose, long tear in 2:C1 touching 5 lines, small perforations in gutters of 3:C3–6, title-page tipped in vol. 3, occasional light staining, chiefly marginal, a few short tears. Modern brown buckram, black morocco spine labels, plain endpapers and edges.  6,000—8,000 USD

 LOT 53

Emma: A Novel. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/8 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Half-titles; washed and pressed with some residual foxing and staining, particularly to half-titles, short split to vol. 1 half-title near gutter. Half mottled calf, marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments (2 reserved for lettering pieces), the others ornamented with gilt marguerites and floral cornerpieces, plain endpapers, top edges gilt; joints and spine ends a trifle rubbed, endpapers renewed. Blue holland paper slipcase; faded and stained.  10,000—15,000 USD

LOT 54

Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. London, John Murray, 1818

4 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/8 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Lacking half-titles in vols. 2–4 and blanks P7,8 in vol. 4 called for by Gilson, marginal offsetting to title-pages from bindings, washed and pressed with some residual toning and foxing. Uniformly bound with Emma (see previous lot); joints rubbed. Blue holland paper slipcase; faded and stained.   6,000—8,000 USD

Go in and browse the online catalogue – there are amazing items in this sale: Dickens, Bronte, Dickinson, Beatrix Potter and Arthur Rackham, Steinbeck letters,  Mark Twain, and so much more !

[Images and description text from the Sotheby’s catalogue]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont 

In Search of Austen in London ~ Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

[Image: Wikipedia]

A visit to the Globe Theatre in Southwark is an essential stop in London.  Close to its original site, re-built through the efforts of Sam Wanamaker, the Globe had its official opening season in June 1997.  Tours are conducted year-round and the museum housing the Globe Exhibition is a must-see – I have taken this tour a few times but have never been in London during the show season, usually late April to early October [  click here for this year’s offerings ] – so I was thrilled this trip to finally see a performance, and a play I have neither read nor seen:  All’s Well That Ends Well!

London 1611, John Speed map. Genmaps.


The best way to get there is to walk across the Millenium Bridge:

Millenium Bridge from the Globe – 2010 rainy visit!

Globe Stage

We had fabulous seats, front row of the first balcony with the railing to lean on, looking down onto the stage and the lowly “pit-dwellers” [and cautioned to NOT drape anything or hold drinks over the rail for fear of droppings on the standing-room only crowd below] – and one piece of advice – either bring your own or rent a cushion – offered for £1 and worth every pence!]

The Seats! - the Globe Tour, Feb 2010, hence the coats

What an experience! – transported back into Shakespeare’s day –
the language, the costumes, the comedy! Though there was no such
Globe Theatre during Austen’s day, Shakespeare was produced in the
theatres and Austen was a regular theatre-goer when visiting Henry
and Eliza in London. Austen and Shakespeare is, however, book not
blog post material! – there are numerous allusions to Shakespeare in
her letters and writings [ Richard III, Macbeth, King John, Hamlet,
Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice for starters…], but as heard in this
dialogue between Henry Crawford and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park,
we can perhaps get a sense of Austen’s true feelings about Shakespeare:

 Crawford: “… I do not think I have had a volume of Shakespeare in my hand before since I was fifteen. I once saw Henry the Eighth acted, or I have heard of it from somebody who did, I am not certain which. But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman’s constitution. His thoughts and beauties are so spread abroad that one touches them everywhere; one is intimate with him by instinct. No man of any brain can open at a good part of one of his plays without falling into the flow of his meaning immediately.”

And Edmund replies:  “No doubt one is familiar with Shakespeare in a degree from one’s earliest years. His celebrated passages are quoted by everybody; they are in half the books we open, and we all talk Shakespeare, use his similes, and describe with his descriptions; but this is totally distinct from giving his sense as you gave it. To know him in bits and scraps is common enough; to know him pretty thoroughly is, perhaps, not uncommon; but to read him well aloud is no everyday talent.”

[Mansfield Park, Vol. III, Ch. 3, p. 338]

But back to All’s Well That Ends Well:  I turn to my trusty Shakespeare
text from college [we were using the G. B. Harrison text of 1952 in 1967!
yikes!] – now, I confess, quite torn and tattered, one of the few books I vigorously attacked with marginalia and underlining – but alas!, AWTEW remains pristine, a glaring anomaly, and I wonder what my professor had against this play?!  This must be one of Shakespeare’s duds – a comedy
without humor, a romance without a hero.  Indeed, this textbook says
[dated though it is!): 

“The play seems never to have been popular. Scholars have found no contemporary mention of quotation.  There is, therefore, no external fact by which the date of writing can be determined, nor is there any topical allusion or other clue within the play itself.  The style is uneven, but in the best passages, both verse and prose, there is a maturity which shows that the play was written in the latter half of Shakespeare’s career…. [thus] a date is assigned somewhere between 1601 and 1604.” [Harrison, p. 1018.]  It first appeared in print in the First Folio of 1623, after Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

First Folio - AWTEW - Wikipedia


Its original source was from Boccaccio’s Decameron, likely from William Painter’s collection of Italianate tales, The Palace of Pleasure (1566), Shakespeare following the tale of Giglietta de Narbone and Beltram de Rossiglione quite closely, with his usual added subplots of fools and

Basic story:  Bertram, a young Count whose father has just died, leaves
home to attend the Court of the ailing King of France.  Bertram bids adieu
to his mother, the delightful Countess* of Roussillon, and her ward, Helena,
the daughter of a well-respected physician. Helena is in love with Bertram,
but as she is of a lower class, her affection is not, cannot be reciprocated [though Bertram does carry Helena’s handkerchief with him for the entire play, all the while eschewing her love].  Conveniently the King of France is dying; Helena offers to cure him with the knowledge she has learned from her father; her prize if she is successful to choose a husband from his courtiers; the Countess sends her off to Paris, and the fun begins.

The King is cured, Helena chooses Bertram [the selection process is very funny!], he declines due to her low social status [he is a man on the way UP],
the King insists, they marry, and Bertram sends her home without a wedding night. He then heads off to war in Italy to make a name for himself, writing Helena that he will remain her husband in name only unless she can get the
ring from his finger and prove she is pregnant with his child [difficult with no wedding night…].  Helena leaves immediately for Italy, with full approval of
her now mother-in-law The Countess who loves her as a true daughter, and she discovers Bertram making merry with the young Italian lasses, one in particular named Diana.  Helena tells her tale of woe to Diana and her mother and they agree to the infamous “bed-trick” whereby Helena will secretly appear to Bertram as his lover Diana – she requests his ring, she, or course, is left with child, her identity is revealed, Bertram confesses his true love after all, and as the saying goes, “all’s well that ends well”!  [This very brief summary gives
short shift to the subplot of Bertram’s right-hand man, Parolles, a coward and
a traitor, blindly followed by Bertram until his true colors are revealed – and
all up to humorous par with Shakespeare’s other such braggarts.]

Helena (Ellie Piercy) & Bertram (Sam Crane) - Globe website

The play has been rarely acted, and has no glowing reviews, as the following example of Samuel Johnson attests:

 The play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable, and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature. …I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram, a man noble without generosity, and young without truth, who marries Helen [sic] as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate; when she is dead by his unkindness, sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and is dismissed to happiness.

[Samuel Johnson, Notes on the Plays of Shakespeare, 1765] –
in Harrison, p. 1019.

But enjoyable it was, despite the hero being a bit of a jerk [does “Bertram’
have a familiar ring as a hero sorely lacking??!] – he does every thing to hurt Helena, is obsessed with his social status, chooses friends who are scoundrels, whines, whines and whines again,  lies his way into the beds of maidens, and in the last five minutes, is, as Johnson says, “dismissed to happiness.”

But who needs a dashing romantic hero when one has The Globe in one’s periphery and a play with much lively wit in prose and verse [the King’s
timely “I am wrapped in dismal thinkings” nearly brought the roof down, though alas! no roof in sight! – I shall now use this phrase repeatedly and annoy all my friends!], and it all ends with a lengthy round of dancing – all characters participating in the raucous festivities where one is finally able to see Bertram as a more lively and affectionate lover.  My traveling companion and I agreed – all plays should end in such a way! [we later in the week saw Wicked and were much disappointed that the characters came out only for a bow and did not break into ten minutes of dancing!]

Musicians for AWTEW


* an Austen 6 degrees of separation stretch but worthy of note!:

The Countess is played by Janie Dee, who is also cast as Adam Dalgliesh’s lovely Emma in P. D. James’s Death in Holy Orders and The Murder Room – Emma of course being the perfect mate for her Austen-loving detective and recipient of a very Wentworth–worthy letter of Dalgliesh’s professed love!

Helena and the Countess (Janie Dee) - The Telegraph

A side note:  the program guide is worth the price of admission! – with a short history of the Globe, Shakespeare in London, the background and history of the play to include its contemporary contexts all with pictures, photographs of the actors in rehearsal, extensive biographies of the cast, excellent ads, and the latest news at The Globe, a very exciting bit being the new indoor Jacobean Theatre which will allow winter performances.  Hurray! 

If you are in London this season, I can only emphatically say, get thee hence to The Globe! – this season’s offerings besides AWTEW are Hamlet, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Doctor Faustus, Anne Boleyn, The Globe Mysteries, and The God of Sohosee the link here for more information.   

From The Globe Exhibition:

Elizabeth I dress


FurtherReading: [a very brief smattering of Shakespeare] 

[All photographs by Deb Barnum, @2010 and @2011 unless otherwise noted]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont 

On the Block! ~ Jane Austen’s The Watson’s

Breaking news from The Guardian:  [and now all over the blogsphere!]

Jane Austen rare manuscript
up for sale

A rare, handwritten manuscript of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons is to be sold at auction at Sotheby’s in London.

by Mark Brown, The Guardian, May 20, 2011

An incredibly rare handwritten manuscript of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen – the only one that is still in private hands – is to appear at auction inLondon.

The neatly written but heavily corrected pages are for her unfinished work The Watsons, a novel which many believe could easily have been as good as her six completed works.

Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s senior specialist in books and manuscripts, said it was “a thrill and privilege” to be selling it: “It is very exciting. This is the most significant Austen material to come on the market since the late 1980s.”

It is unquestionably rare. Original manuscripts of her published novels do not exist, aside from two cancelled chapters of Persuasion in the British Library.

The novel is considered around a quarter completed and the manuscript has 68 pages – hand-trimmed by Austen – which have been split up into 11 booklets.

It is most but not all of Austen’s unfinished novel. The first 12 pages were sold by an Austen descendent during the first world war to help the Red Cross and are now in New York’s Pierpont Morgan Library, while the next few pages were inexplicably lost by Queen Mary, University of London which has been looking after the manuscript.

The college’s director of library services Emma Bull said it happened six years ago, before she arrived, and had resulted in a full investigation which, alas, “did not really come to any firm conclusions about what specifically happened.” There had been a hope that they would turn up, but clearly that is now highly unlikely.

The Watsons manuscript shows how Austen’s other manuscripts must have looked. It also shines an interesting light on how she worked. Austen took a piece of paper, cut it in two and then folded over each half to make eight-page booklets. Then she would write, small neat handwriting leaving little room for corrections – of which there are many. “You can really see the mind at work with all the corrections and revisions,” said Heaton.

Scene from Pride & Prejudice, by Isabel Bishop - Morgan Library

At one stage she crosses so much out that she starts a page again and pins it in. It seems, in Austen’s mind, her manuscript had to look like a book. “Writers often fall into two categories,” said Heaton. “The ones who fall into a moment of great inspiration and that’s it and then you have others who endlessly go back and write and tinker. Austen is clearly of the latter variety. It really is a wonderful, evocative document.”

The Watsons was written in 1804, not a hugely happy time for Austen professionally – she had one novel rejected and another bought by a publisher who failed to print it.

It was also a difficult time personally and one reason it was not finished may be because fact came too close to the fiction. The Watsons heroine is Emma, one of four sisters who are daughters of a sick and widowed clergyman. The novel would have had the father die leaving Emma in a precarious financial position. In real life, Austen’s clergyman father died leaving her in a similar pickle to her fictional heroine.

Had Austen completed The Watsons there are many who believe it would have been a classic. Margaret Drabble described it as “a tantalising, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she finished it.”

The manuscript was bought by the present owner in 1988 when it was sold by the British Rail Pension Fund. It had been bought from Austen descendents in the 1970s when manuscripts, rare books and fine art seemed like perfectly sensible things for nationalised pension funds to buy.

The manuscript has been valued at £200,000 to £300,000 and will be sold at Sotheby’s in London on 14 July.

You can see this page from The Watsons at the Pierpont Morgan Library’s online exhibition A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy:

[Image:  The Watsons,  Pierpont Morgan Library Online Exhibition]

The Sotheby’s auction page is here, English Literature & History, Sale No. L11404, though there are no details yet online.  I will keep you posted! – and more on The Watsons in the coming weeks… you can read it online here at The Republic of Pemberley or a PDF version here,  or learn more about it here at Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts where you can also read along with the digitized copy.

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont

In Search of Austen in London ~ The Geffrye Museum

One of the best places to visit in London if you have any interest in English domestic life is the Geffrye Museum – this has been on my ‘to-visit’ list for several years and I just haven’t made it there on previous trips to London – so when I met up with Tony Grant  and he said said his favorite museum is the Geffrye – well, done deal, off we went! 

As mentioned above, I did not have my camera, and we got there late, spent too much time chatting over tea, and the place closed down before I could finish the tour on contemporary life and go to the shop – so I cannot offer much more than a link to their fabulous website, where you can take any number of virtual tours through the various rooms, and begin to imagine Jane Austen in her own time and place! 

From their website:

The Geffrye Museum depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms. Its collections of furniture, textiles, paintings and decorative arts are displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day.

The displays lead the visitor on a walk through time, from the 17th century with oak furniture and panelling, past the refined splendour of the Georgian period and the high style of the Victorians, to 20th century modernity as seen in a 1930s flat, a mid-century room in ‘contemporary style’ and a late-20th century living space in a converted warehouse.

The museum is set in elegant 18th century almshouses with a contemporary wing surrounded by attractive gardens, which include an award-winning walled herb garden and a series of period gardens.

A parlour in 1790 – photography John Hammond

The use of the parlour remained much the same as earlier in the century; it was the room where the family would have gathered, received guests and taken meals. However, the way it was decorated and furnished had changed considerably.

In diaries, journals and letters of the time people often referred to rooms and furnishings that they liked as ‘neat’, which meant bright and stylish as well as clean and tidy. This taste required lighter colours and more delicate decoration. Wallpapered walls were particularly useful for achieving this effect, replacing heavily moulded panelling.  

In the museum’s room the wallpaper is a modern replica copied from a fragment dating to around 1780. The plaster frieze is copied from a house in Cross Street, Islington. Interest in classical design and decoration was increasingly widespread towards the end of the century.


When you first walk in, you are faced with a series of chairs depicting each era – a wondeful way to see the changes in that most essential piece of furniture – the lofty chair.  And then you begin your tour through the period rooms, starting with a Hall of 1630.  Each room is arranged to look as though someone just got up and left – letters half written, chairs a bit askew, cards spread out.  Tony is a teacher and he said he loves bringing young people to this very hands-on museum – he would focus on a particular item or habit – for example, light – and have his students really think about how our use of and access to different kinds of light has changed through the years.  It is a marvelous way of really putting yourself in each room and seeing how one would have to function in that context.

A drawing room in 1830 – photography Chris Ridley

The Almshouse was not open when I visited, so here again from their website:

An almshouse room in 1880 – photography Morley von Sternberg

The 1880s room, situated on the upper floor, shows how a former governess living in the Geffrye almshouses during the 1880s may have furnished it.

The interior exemplifies the principle of genteel poverty. Within this context, the objects on display reflect many of the principal themes related to daily life during the nineteenth century, such as scientific and technological developments, moral and social trends, travel, and educational and artistic accomplishments.

The Museum also houses elegant gardens from the 17th to 20th centuries; here is one from the 18th c – you can visit the website for lists of key plants:

18th century period garden – photography Jayne Lloyd 

A lovely visit, despite my lack of camera! –  and again my hearty thanks to Tony Grant for taking me there!

All the images posted here are from the website, where you can visit all the rooms, take virtual tours, shop*, and discover this magical world of the English home. 

*the shop has many books, such as The History of the Geffrye Almshouses, by Kathy Haslam. 

or gifts:

You can also visit them on Facebook here, where you can like them!

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont

London Trekking

Have just returned from a week in London – hence the blogging silence – will post more pictures and some thoughts, but to start here are a few.  I met up for a delightful tea and afternoon of sight-seeing with Tony Grant, of the blog London Calling [alas! he just lately removed it from the blogsphere] – Tony now writes regularly for Vic at Jane Austen’s World, where you can see his pictures and posts on Austen’s England [see his latest on The Library of an 18th-century Gentleman and also today’s post at Jane Austen Today on Brighton Pier.]

As I did the unbelievable, mind-boggling error of leaving my camera in the hotel,  I have only this one photo of Tony and I [taken by an obliging passer-by on Tony’s camera] to prove that we actually met up!  

Here we are in front of Henry Austen’s home/office at 10 Henrietta Street where Jane stayed!

I went back a few days later to get a photograph of the plaque on the building:

Many thanks to Tony for a lovely day of walking around London – I find that it was all the more satisfying because I DID forget my camera – one ceases to look at everything from the inside of that little box, framing all in view for just the right shot – so everything seen remains all the more etched in my memory.

More to come – museums, plays, walking, walking, walking in search of Austen in Regency London – and in perfect sunshine all week!  Stay tuned!

Westminster Abbey

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont

JASNA 2011 AGM – Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2011 AGM in Fort Worth Texas is now open.  You must be a member of JASNA to participate, so what better time to join than now, when you can head off into the sunset with all new thoughts about Sense and Sensibility  [and perhaps a Col. Brandon by your side!] – check out all the events at the AGM website here as JASNA celebrates the 200th anniversary of Austen’s first published novel:


The registration form is here: http://jasna.org/agms/fortworth/registration.html [scroll to bottom of page and click on the blue button]


[Image: FineArtAmerica.com]

Note our next JASNA-Vermont event on June 5:  The Musical World of Jane Austen, an organ recital with Dr. William Tortolano: information is here

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

Susannah Fullerton on Jane Austen and Crime ~ An Audio Lesson

The ABC Sydney, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has posted online its weekly “Self-Improvement Wednesday.”  This week’s lesson is an 11 minute chat on “Jane Austen’s  Crime” with Susannah Fullerton, the JASA President and author of the fabulous Jane Austen & Crime.

You can listen to the audio and then take the quiz to test your retention skills here:  http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/05/04/3207499.htm?site=sydney

Enjoy this very quick and entertaining run through all the possible crimes in Georgian England as seen in Austen’s writings:  adultery and crim con, dueling, prostitution, murder, elopement, rape, theft, smuggling, gaming, and the various punishments.  Better yet, read the book! [you can read my review here.]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont

The Royal Wedding at a Boston Spinning Class

A Boston-based friend of mine attends a spinning class where one of the instructors goes the extra mile in making the music accompaniment so enjoyable that the hour passes with nary a thought to the pain of exercise.  This past Sunday said instructor had compiled an entire musical revue for the Royal Wedding! –

As my friend only followed the nuptial event superficially [sort of like my husband who the day before was moaning about “all this wedding ‘nonsense’ (to use a polite word)  flooding the airwaves”, but then spent the wee hours of Friday morning “transfixed” by the whole thing (his own words!)] –  Anne was not too keen pedaling away to royal-related wedding music for an hour, but was delightfully surprised by the brilliance of the whole playlist – her instructor graciously has posted the list online: here it is – head over to your itunes and make up your own playlist and enjoy!

Official Wedding Photo

Royal Wedding Spin Class Playlist…….Definitive

Bill’s class Sunday May 1st —- Dedicated to Kate & William         

  • Someday my Prince will Come 
  • WeddingBellBlues  — The 5th Dimension      
  • Get Me to the Church On Time (Live)—Frank Sinatra with Count Basie
  • White Wedding — Billy Idol        
  • Kiss — Prince & The Revolution          
  • LondonCalling — The Clash          
  • A Girl Like You — Edwyn Collins          
  • Live With Me  — The Rolling Stones                     
  • Can’t Buy Me Love  — The Beatles          
  • Nothing Compares — Annie Lenox          
  • Everlasting Love — U2                      
  • Pressure — Queen                      
  • I Just Can’t Wait to Be King — Soundtrack The Lion King
  • If Not for You  — Bob Dylan          
  • White Trash Wedding –DixieChicks          
  • Kiss the Girl — Little Mermaid

 You can visit the Synergy Cycling Studio blog here.

[Image: Synergy Cycling Studio blog]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont