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The Museum at Andover is an interesting place for Austenites to visit. JAne Austen visited it when she passed through Andover, usually while she was on her way from Steventon to Ibthorpe to stay with her friend, Martha Lloyd and her mother.  She would call on the owner’s wife, Mrs Poore and her mother there, as we discover from this extract from her letter to Cassandra Austen, her sister, dated 30th November, 1800:

I left my Mother very well when I came away & left her with the strictest orders to continue so. My journey was safe and not unpleasant. I spent an hour in Andover, of which Messre Painter and Redding has the larger part-twenty minutes however fell to the lot of Mrs Poore and her mother,whom I was glad  to see in good looks and spirits. -The latter asked me more questions than I had very well time to answer; the former I beleive (sic) is very big but I am by no means certain;- she is either very big, or not at all big, I forgot to be accurate in my observation at the time, & tho’ my thoughts are now more about me on the subject, the power of exercising them to any effect is much diminished – The two youngest boys only were at home; I mounted the highly-extolled Staircase & went into the elegant Drawing -Room,which I fancy is now Mrs Harrison’s apartment;- and in short did everything that extraordinary Abilities can be supposed to compass in so short a time.

The Poore’s house is now the Andover Museum, and as you can see from the photograph of it, below, you can see that  it has  a core of a fine Georgian building, on the left, while it has been added to by the Victorians, on the right.

Inside you can see the very fine staircase that Jane Austen mentioned: from her tone others must have mentioned how grand it was. And with reason ,as you can see:

Set in its own staircase hall, leading off from the main entrance to the museum to the left of the building…

…it is, as you can tell, very imposing and grand indeed.

No wonder it was highly extolled.

Before she was married to Mr Philip Poore,  Mrs Poore was all known to both Cassandra and Jane Austen, and her maiden name was Mary Harrison. She is mentioned in a couple of Jane Austen’s earliest surviving letters: the first dated 5th September 1796 addressed to her sister, Cassandra written from Rowling in Kent, has this intriguing reference:

Give my love to Mary Harrison & tell her I wish  whenever she is attached to a young Man, some respectable Dr Marchmont may keep them apart for five volumes

The second direct mention is in a letter, again to Cassandra and written from Rowling dated 15th September 1796 :

Buy Mary Harrison’s Gown by all means. You shall have mine for ever so much money, tho’ if I am tolerably rich when I get home, I shall like it very much myself.

Mary Harrison was one of the Austen sisters’ circles of friends. Her  brother was the  Reverend William Harrison (1768-1846). He was, at this time, the vicar of Overton,  which, as you can see from this section taken from my  Cary’s map pf Hampshire for 1797 that it was(and is still) not far from Steventon: the map has been annotated with the positions of Steventon, Overton, Andover and Hursbourne Tarrant, which is near to Ibthorpe, Jane’s final destination of the day she travelled to Andover in 1800:

You can trace  the route Jane Austen would have travelled,  from Dean Gate to Andover. She would have passed through Overton, hone of Mary Harrison’s brother, then through Whitchurch and eventually on to Andover. The arrows are numbered as follows:1, Steventon; 2,Overton;  3, Andover ;4, Hurstbourne Tarrant.

Mary married, as his second wife, Philip-Henry Poore in September 1797. Philip-Henry Poore (1764-1847) was from Andover and he practised as the town’s surgeon, apothecary, and man-midwife. He and Mary had a daughter, Mary-Anne. She was born in March 1799. Was Jane Austen alluding to a possible later and doomed pregnancy in her letter to Cassandra of  November 1800?

…the former I beleive (sic) is very big but I am by no means certain;- she is either very big, or not at all big, I forgot to be accurate in my observation at the time, & tho’ my thoughts are now more about me on the subject, the power of exercising them to any effect is much diminished-…

But what is truly interesting is that Mary Harrison nearly became Jane and Cassandras sister-in-law. Anne Matthews, James Austen’s first wife, died in 1795, leaving him with one daughter, Anna. James, Jane’s eldest brother, had after her death, according to family tradition an infatuation with his glamorous cousin Eliza de Fueillide, but  this was not successfully concluded on his part. He turned his attention instead to  two local Marys: Mary Lloyd, sister of Martha Lloyd, Jane’s great friend, and Mary Harrison. In one of her brittle, carefree, early letters to survive,  Jane Austen asks this question of Cassandra regarding James’ impending martial decision:

Let me know how J. Harwood deports himself without the Miss Biggs-and which of the Marys will carry the day with my Brother James

( See Letter to Cassandra Austen, dated 5th September 1796)

She had still not heard a week later:

I depend  on hearing from James very soon; he promised an account of the  Ball, and by this time he must have collected his Ideas enough , after the fatigue of dancing, to give me one.

( see Letter to Cassandra Austen, dated 15th September 1796)

James eventually did make up his mind and asked Mary Lloyd to be his second wife. Mrs Austen seems to have decided to bring matters to a head by asking Mary Lloyd to spend some time at the Steventon rectory in the autumn of 1796. James proposed in November of that year, and they were married at Hursbourne Tarrant on 17th January 1797. There exists a rather lovely letter of welcome to Mary that Mrs Austen sent to her on hearing the news that JAmes had proposed and was accepted: if my son ever marries (he is but 14 at present!) I hope I have the decency to send my prospective daughter-in-law such a letter:

Mr Austen and Myself desire you will accept our best Love and that you will believe us truly sincere when we assure you that we feel the most heartfelt satisfaction at the prospect we have of adding you to the number of our very good Children. Had the Election been mine, you, my dear Mary, are the person I should have chosen for James’s Wife, Anna’s Mother and my Daughter being as certain as I can be of anything in this uncertain World, that you will greatly increase and promote the happiness of each of the three.

(See: Jane Austen: A Family Record, by Deirdre Le Faye, Page 99)

And so, rejected by James , Mary Harrison opted for the charms of Mr Poore and his lovely house in Andover. Which you can now visit, and admire the much extolled staircase;)

I have to convey my sincere thanks to the staff of the Andover Museum, for  allowing me to photograph the stairs, especially Chloe and Ania who were patience and kindness personified. If you are ever in the vicinity do go to the Andover Museum: it is full of interesting Iron Age artefacts amongst other things,  and see for yourself the splendour that surrounded Mrs Poore and her mother , and give a thought to the woman who was once very nearly Jane Austen’s sister-in-law.

Amanda Vickery’s latest documentary, on Jane Austen’s fame and how her reputation has spread since her death in 1817, was aired on BBC2 on Christmas Eve, and I thought you might be interested in my thoughts on it.  In the hour-long programme, she told the story of how Jane Austen and her works have come to enjoy such astronomical fame today,  to the point where she is now ubiquitous. And it is an interesting journey, when you seriously consider it.  Just how did the daughter of an obscure cleric, whose works were favoured by a small, elite group in her life time,

and then was almost forgotten…whose birthplace is now destroyed,

whose only authenticated image is tantalisingly vague,

and whose gravestone omitted to mention the fact that she a was a professional, published author of novels,

manage to  become so famous, to the point where the world-wide Jane Austen industry (heritage or otherwise ) is today worth millions, and where one of her incomplete manuscripts, The Watsons, can command a price of almost £1 million at auction?

This story has been told before: Claire Harman’s book, Jane’s Fame:How Jane Austen Conquered the World( 2009), covered this topic quite succinctly  – but this programme was not really meant for Jane aficionados who most probably will have already read the book. It was really aimed, in my opinion, to inform the non-obsessed amongst us (And yes, they do exist!) Those who, perhaps, take for granted that Jane Austen and her vibrant characters have always been so dominantly amongst us, this past 200 years, and may be surprised to learn that this has not really been the case.

This story was told as an interesting illustrated international journey- beautifully shot and Amanda Vickery is always a congenial, intelligent companion. En route we met with academics such as Professor Kathryn Sutherland, who explained away some of the Jane myths, especially those  that surround the “official ” images of her;

Lucasta Millar, shown below in the gloomy graveyard at Haworth with Professor Vickery, explained the Romantic’s attitude to Jane and why they so violently rejected her.

One of the most outspoken critics of her, was, of course,  Charlotte Bronte, hence the filming at Haworth in Yorkshire.

We learnt how the publishing world and in particular, W. H. Smith’s mid championing of the mid to late 19th century cheap  yellow back railway editions of Jane’s novels began to spread the word ( when they were conveniently out of copyright)by offering them via their outlets on stations to the many thousands of bored railway travellers, desperate for some cheap entertainment on interminable  journeys…

,

and how her reputation grew amongst a group of aesthetic men, to the point where many men serving in the trenches of World War One found solace in her world, retreating in their heads to her place of safety, thus avoiding the real horrors that daily beset them.

The academic world and its near obsession with her ( Have you ever tried to keep count of the sheer number of academic papers of varying merits that are published about Austen every year? Don’t attempt it, I beg of you…) was addressed and particular emphasis was paid to the important  influence of F. R. Leavis and his wife Queenie

with their pugnacious championing of the English Novel  (and in particular the moral and literary worth of  Jane Austen) in their teaching at Cambridge, and also in his book The Great Tradition (1948) where he boldly asserted that

‘The great English novelists are Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James and Joseph Conrad’.

The importance of the wider media was also acknowledged, and indeed, this is probably the most important factor which has been the enabler of Jane’s extreme fame today. Given the amazing commercial success of film and TV adaptations of her novels, it may stun you to realise that, while Charles Dickens’ works were filmed countless times from the beginning of the cinema industry in the late 19th century, Jane Austen was ignored by Hollywood until the 1940 adaptation of Helene Jerome’s successful Broadway production of Pride and Prejudice, starring Laurence Oliver and Greer Garson.

BBC TV led the way to a certain extent with adaptations of Pride and Prejudice in 1938, 1952, 1958, and 1967,  though this version ( of which I have vague memories) was aired in the Sunday tea-time slot, and was aimed primarily at an audience of children.

The 1980 version by Faye Weldon was broadcast on BBC2, and this, it was argued, was the beginning of Austen’s now massive popularity where TV audiences are concerned. Amanda confessed to finding David Rintoul’s Darcy  particularly attractive…

And, of course, it was in 1995 with Andrew Davis’s version of the novel for  BBC 1( aired this time at  primetime Sunday evening viewing at 9 p.m.)  that a world-wide, very enthusiastic audience was generated.

The documentary included an amusing interview with the incorrigible Andrew Davis, still championing his admittedly successful formula of “sexing-up ” of Austen’s novels, gaily claming she missed a trick in her portrayal of the, to him, rather sexless heroes of Sense and Sensibility( complaints on a postcard to Mr Davis and not to me , if you please)

What I liked most about the programme was its attitude toward the Janeites of today. The annual Bath Regency Promenade, part of the Bath Jane Austen Festival, shown here descending Gay Street , was filmed and most affectionately was it done, too.

The participants interviewed were not depicted (as I had feared) as crazed fans, but as thoughtful but fun-loving people whose interest in Jane had spurred them on to research her era in their own way. The JASNA conference at Fort Worth might have been an easy target for scorn, but Amanda seems to have genuinely enjoyed the experience, and found, I think, to her slight surprise that the audience consisted mainly of powerful, genuine, intelligent women, typified by Dr Cheryl Kinney, below. The point was made that the members of JASNA who came together to share their admiration and love for this author, saw her on many different levels. All interpretations were welcome. This section was a delight.

For the committed Janeite, there was not much new to be learned. But I have done a little market research amongst my Christmas Guests- none of whom are Janites, but  who have endured my obsession for too many years to number here- and they learnt a lot from the documentary. ( Do note that  watching it was not compulsory in this house, but some brave souls did sit through it with me). They had assumed, incorrectly, that Jane’s fame has always been as great as it is now. Their surprise was palpable when they discovered this was not the case. They throughly enjoyed this entertaining and charming history of the cult of Jane.  It was an interesting programme,  and if you do not have access to the BBC Iplayer, where you can watch it again, here, then I do hope it will be made available to you on DVD soon.

I’m away on my Annual Jolly Girls Meet Up for the next few days, and I’ll be visiting, among other places, here for teas and sundaes:

and here for literary combativeness:

and here for gracious living and Gainsborough portraits, not to mention the Georgian Kitchens:

and, hopefully, will also be seeing this:

I’ll be updating my progress on Twitter so if you want to keep up with all Jolly Girls Doings and upddates, then why not follow me on Twitter ? You can follow me by pressing the Alice in Wonderland-like Follow Me button under the Twitter feed to the left of this page, or by visiting my Twitter page, here.

 

Till next week!

With some trepidation and lots of  help and support ( and by this I mean real support! The Holding-Hand type) from the ever patient Chris from WordPress, the comments box has now been returned to its normal position under the main body of the posts!

Hurrah and Huzzah!

So now please….do comment! For you know I love comments, and now you have no excuse!

 

 

 

For Cathy….and any other interested parties…..

 

I managed to find this old photograph in a very old Guide Book of the Pavilion-circa 1969 IIRC. You can see that the exterior of the Pavilion was quite a different colour then.

Recently I have had a few emails from posters wanting to post comments, but they are experiencing a problem. They can’t find the Comments Box.  It used to be situated immediately under the post, or under the last comment made, but it’s not there any more…well, it is, but it’s rather difficult to find it.

Let me explain.

It would appear that while I was on holiday Word Press have made some alterations to the theme that I operate on this site and the Comments Box is now to be found right at the bottom of the page. So…. if you scroll down(and down and down) until you can scroll down no further, then the new style Comments Box ( with new buttons to allow you to comment on Facebook and Twitter etc) will be found and you can make a new comment there. Your comment will then appear under the post as normal.

Alternatively, if you click on the “add a comment”  link, to be found under the header to the post, or , if a comment has already been made, on the “2 comments ” link (or whatever the number of comments has been made is!)  you will then be taken directly to the Comments Box.

This is not a particularly helpful situation: I could shorten my sidebar, which determines the length of the page, to bring the Comments Box higher, but there is a lot of helpful information there, so I am loath to do that.

I will be asking WP to help resolve this rather ungainly situation on Monday, but in the meantime if you want to comment, please scroll down right to the bottom of the page and I do apologise for the confusion this has caused.

I’m taking a little break with my family, unbelievably to places not related to Jane Austen (!), so there will be no new posts for the next two weeks.

In the meantime do enjoy the archives and let’s pray that this cold snap will evolve into more summery weather!

This week we reach the high point of this passionate tale of first loves…but before we see poor Marianne at that terrible moment when she is about to be snubbed by Willoughby, we must first meet Elinor’s nemeis,Lucy Steele.

The first illustration this week is of the incident in Chapter 22 when Lucy reveals that she is engaged to Edward Ferrars:

   “I dare say you are, and I am sure I do not at all wonder at it. But if I dared tell you all, you would not be so much surprised. Mrs. Ferrars is certainly nothing to me at present — but the time may come — how soon it will come must depend upon herself — when we may be very intimately connected.”

   She looked down as she said this, amiably bashful, with only one side glance at her companion to observe its effect on her.

   “Good heavens!” cried Elinor, “what do you mean? Are you acquainted with Mr. Robert Ferrars? Can you be — — ?” And she did not feel much delighted with the idea of such a sister-in-law.

   “No;” replied Lucy, “not to Mr. Robert Ferrars — I never saw him in my life; but,” fixing her eyes upon Elinor, “to his elder brother.”

   What felt Elinor at that moment? Astonishment, that would have been as painful as it was strong, had not an immediate disbelief of the assertion attended it. She turned towards Lucy in silent amazement, unable to divine the reason or object of such a declaration; and though her complexion varied, she stood firm in incredulity, and felt in no danger of an hysterical fit, or a swoon.

Here I think Thomson conveys Lucy’s sly sideways  glance toward Elinor well, but shows Elinor in some distress, putting her hand to her mouth which,  I think , betrays too much of her emotion. Jane Austen makes it quite clear that Elinor does not betray any of her deeply felt feelings,save for her complexion changing colour. What do you think?

The second illustration is from Chapter 24 where Elinor is again being taunted by Lucy, who is really playing with her like a cat with a mouse, telling her all the pertinent details of her engagement with Edward, while Anne Steele, Lady Middleton , Margaret and Mrs Jennings are playing cards neaby. Marrianne is, of course, playing the newly tuned pianoforte and does not hear then over the noise she is producing by playing her powerful, magnificent concerto.  Anne Steel hears them talking of Beaux and interrupts them…

Strangely Thomson only gives half the quote in the illsutration. This is what Mrs Jennings says in full:

 “I can answer for it that Miss Dashwood’s is not,” said Mrs. Jennings, laughing heartily; “for he is one of the modestest, prettiest behaved young men I ever saw. But as for Lucy, she is such a sly little creature, there is no finding out who she likes.”

Poor Elinor would surely have preferred Lucy to have remained silent on this point…..

The last illustration in this week’s article is my favourite of the three, for I think it reveals very subtly, the different reactions of the sisters.; the joy Marianne is feeling,and the caution that rules Elinor. It is of course, that fateful moment at the party  in Chapter 28 when Marianne spots Willoughby and thinks he has at last come to claim her as his own:

They had not remained in this manner long, before Elinor perceived Willoughby, standing within a few yards of them, in earnest conversation with a very fashionable looking young woman. She soon caught his eye, and he immediately bowed, but without attempting to speak to her, or to approach Marianne, though he could not but see her; and then continued his discourse with the same lady. Elinor turned involuntarily to Marianne, to see whether it could be unobserved by her. At that moment she first perceived him, and her whole countenance glowing with sudden delight, she would have moved towards him instantly, had not her sister caught hold of her.

   “Good heavens!” she exclaimed, “he is there — he is there — Oh! why does he not look at me? why cannot I speak to him?”

   “Pray, pray be composed,” cried Elinor, “and do not betray what you feel to everybody present. Perhaps he has not observed you yet.”

Poor Elinor….trying desperately to have Marianne not betray her feelings for Willoughby to the whole room, and poor Marianne who is just about to have her heart broken not a thousand tiny pieces…..

My dear friend, Jane Odiwe of Jane Austen Sequels fame, is asking for our help in trying to locate a picture which may have intriguing Austen family associations.

She has recently been publishing some very interesting posts on Ozias Humphrey and his paintings,( go here and here to see) and in the course of writing these pieces Jane has become intrigued  by the tantalising possibilities that this painting, below, offers:

(Please do click on the painting to enlarge it to see all the interesting detail)

It is thought by Robin Roberts,  the brother of Mrs Henry Rice( the owner of the famous Rice portrait) that this painting may be  a conversation piece depicting the  Austen family , executed circa 1780. He is of the opinion that it was commissioned to commemorate their son Edward Austen’s good fortune of being adopted by his rich and kind relatives, the Knights. It was once in the collection at Godmersham House but since the dispersal sale held there in 1983,  its whereabouts have been unknown.

This is what Jane Odiwe has to say about the history of the painting:

Whilst conducting research into the ‘Rice’ portrait, Mr. Robin Roberts discovered a very interesting picture, which seems to have gone unnoticed in a Christie’s catalogue. The sale of the property of Mrs. Robert Tritton took place at Godmersham Park, Kent, between Monday, June 6th and Thursday, June 9th, 1983. Elsie Tritton and her husband had bought the estate in 1936, and the catalogue notes how she and her husband had lovingly rescued the house, and how Elsie, a New Yorker by birth, wished that after her death, their wonderful collection of furniture and clocks, English Conversation Pieces, objets d’art and textiles should be available for others to buy for their own collections. This is a fascinating catalogue to see, and I think the fact that the painting came out of the sale of Godmersham Park is most exciting! …The painting is described in the catalogue as belonging to the English School, circa 1780, pen, and black ink and watercolour, measuring 15½ by 19½ inches. It depicts a family sitting round a table, the adults at opposite ends, with four children beyond.

If you go here to Jane’s site, you can read all Mr Robert’s speculations on the various allegorical meanings of the painting. He is of the opinion that  it may have been commissioned at the same time as the famous silhouette, below, which depicts  Edward Austen being presented by the Austens to his new adoptive parents:

My main concern (and remember I am no art historian!)with the painting is the exclusion of the other Austen children: only two boys are depicted.  If the family were celebrating their good luck, surely the  other brothers would be included in such an important commemorative piece, or only Edward as in the silhouette? And portraiture is not like photography: it does not require that  all the people to be depicted to be present at one time and place…But what do I know about it ;)

If anyone is aware of the whereabouts of this panting which was sold from Godmersham during the Christie’s sale of  June 1983, then perhaps they would be kind enough to contact either Jane Odiwe via her website, or the Jane Austen House Museum, here.  It would be wonderful if it could be found and further investigations carried out to see if there was any Austen family link to it, don’t you think?

Today I have added a widget for the Austenonly photostream on Flickr to this page. You can access it from the side bar to the left hand side of the page, just below the Top Clicks section.

As you can probably tell, I adore taking photographs (even if they are of indifferent quality!) and often there is not the opportunity to share them with you here due to self imposed restrictions of time and applicability ;)

But if you would care to view some of my photographs of English country houses and the English countryside, some not relating to Jane Austen  at all( I know, who would believe I could be capeable do doing such a thing?!), then do feel free to wander along to Flickr to see them.

I will be adding to the account from time to time. At present you can see lots of previously unpublished pictures of Grimsthorpe Castle, Chatsworth and a set relating to the Duke of Ancaster’s Church,Normanton which is now almost completely surrounded by Rutland Water.

Fancy Dress Balls….

Morris Men performing their old dances….a typical feature of many a Christmas and New Year’s Celebration even now.

Sweet (?) singing in the choir…..and exchanging Christmas Greetings after divine service.

Shy children…..looking angelic…

And more mistletoe problems, this time in the parish church.

If you want to  register for a chance to win all the prizes shown below in my bumper first anniversary give away competition, then you have until end of play tomorrow to add a comment to this post linked  here ( not this post mind!).

Copies of the Jane Austen Pocket Bible and Jane Austen’s Homecoming…

Postcards made from my collection of late 18th early 19th century images…

Map of Bath 1803,Wedgwood’s London Showroom, Box Hill, Gilpin’s cows, Lyme Regis……

And the header to this blog, Hampstead Heath…

An audio book on cassette of Elizabeth Jenkins biography  of Jane Austen…

A CD and Song booklet of 18th century ballads created for the Threads fo Feeling Exhibition at the Foundling Museum…

Two mother of pearl gaming fish from the early 19th century…

…and a shopping bag from Jane Austen’s House Museum.

I will announce the lucky winner on Monday 15th November.

You have less than a week left to join in AustenOnly’s First Aniversary prize Give Away.

To qualify, simply add a comment to this post linked here.

The draw will take palce next Sunday 14th November and the winner will be announced on Monday 15th.

I’ve really enjoyed reading all your comments left thus far: if you are a new or old reader, please do join in, as there are lots of delicious Jane related items to win, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out ;)

Gadding about the country again….off to see Stoneleigh Abbey,

The Winter’s Tale at the RSC

and much more..not all Austen related, note..but enough to keep me happy! ;-)

I’ll be back next week with more travellers tales to tell, so do join me then .

for some lightheartedness at AustenOnly, in addition to the usual round of book reviews and posts on Jane Austen news items.

As Elizabeth Bennet knew well,  the summer is the best time for visiting country houses and travelling ( the only drawback for her was the lack of Factor 50 suncream) and so…over the next few weeks I will be concentrating on bringing you posts about some of the  locations used in the various Jane Austen adaptations.

Indeed, I began this series a few weeks ago with my posts on the

Chatsworth House interiors, here and here.

I will be going to Bath, so expect some posts about the various places used in the Northanger Abbey and Persuasion adaptations….

and I have also been travelling about the countryside , having been given special permission to take photographs etc in some stunning places, and  so I will be bringing you some posts on locations used in the various Pride and Prejudice adaptations/films.

(Photograph reproduced here by kind permission of the Trustees of Burghley House)

I’ve added a new page to AustenOnly so that you can easily find all the links to the relevant posts: go here to see.

I do hope you will enjoy this lighthearted series, which I think will be  a little light entertainment for the summer months :-)

Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkherne in Somerset- Sir Walter Elliots local auctioneers,as he hails from the nearby Kellynch Hall -are to hold a sale of Silver and Objects of Virtu next week: the on-line catalogue is  chock-a-block with precisely the type of luxurious gadgets Sir Walter and other Austen characters would have adored…such as….

A George III silver Marrow Scoop ( Would that be  appropriate for the gourmand of the Mansfield Rectory, Dr Grant?)

A George III Stilton Scoop ( Surely the perfect gift from Augusta Elton to her caro sposo)


A George III Tongue-scraper and Tweezers Combined ( The ideal gift for the vain Sir Walter?)

A Rare Wig Powderer dating from 1812 (  Mr Bennet  could not cause  havoc without this?)

A George III Gold mounted Malacca Cane  dating from 1760

A Neo-Classical Nutmeg grater- THE essential spice to add to one’s hot chocolate.


A Jockey Cap Tea Caddy Spoon made by one of my distant ancestors, Samuel Pemberton (  just THE thing for Tom Bertram at Newmarket-but he didn’t drink much tea there , did he?)

and finally a silver  apple corer…perfect for Mr Knightley to give to Jane Fairfax, perhaps, she suggested mischievously ?;-)

Do note you can enlarge all these photographs by clicking on them to examine the delightful detail…I hope you enjoyed this small tour of Georgian Luxury Gadgets and will find more to admire in Lawrences Catalogue :-)

My review of the exhibition can now be accessed here.

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From 21st October until 23rd January the National Portrait Gallery in London will be staging the first major exhibition to be held in 30 years on the Regency portraitist, Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Entitled,Regency Power and Brilliance, the exhibition will explore his development from being the son of a Bristol Excise officer to becoming the most celebrated and influential artist in Europe at the start of the nineteenth century.

It will feature over fifty works of his works , drawn from public and private collections around the world, like this magestic portrait of Jane Austen’s admirer, Sir Walter Scott.

I do hope my favourite, Elizabeth Farren, the actress who became the Countress of Derby, will be  there, all the way from the Metropolitan Museum  in NYC…

I will most certainly  be going and will report back.

As I understand it  the exhibiton will also be on show at the Yale Centre for British Arts, New Haven, so I hope many of you will be able to visit it, which ever side of the pond you reside.

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