Having returned from my UK trip, I suddenly had plenty of Austen-related paraphernalia with me: postcards, brochures, entrance tickets etc. I decided to keep these things and store them in a tiny scrapbook, which I could browse whenever I felt like reminiscing all the fascinating places I visited.
I purchased this postcard at the National Portrait Gallery, where I had the chance to see the one and only certain life portrait of Jane Austen, sketched by Cassandra Austen. The portrait was stored in a glass case in Room 18 of the Romantics Gallery, and I was surprised to see how tiny the portrait really was – the postcard is, in fact, larger than the portrait itself! It is a pencil sketch with light colouring on and around the face, appearing somewhat incomplete.
On the next page, I stuck two brochure cut-outs of other Austen portraits. The one on the left is a silhouette that was discovered in an early edition of Pride and Prejudice. Behind the silhouette were the words ‘L’aimable Jane’, convincing some that this was indeed a silhouette of Jane Austen. The picture on the right is an engraving of the original portrait by Cassandra Austen – pretty but with a slightly different look on Jane’s face.
I purchased this lovely postcard at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton. It displays the various places in Hampshire that Jane lived in and visited.
The next page has pictures of Hampshire: Steventon Church, which I’m sorry to have missed on my trip, and Chawton. There is also a small introduction to the Jane Austen Exhibition, which I saw at Winchester Cathedral. I like the sentence at the top of the brochure: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a visitor to Hampshire must be in search of an appreciation of Jane Austen’!
These pictures are of the various rooms in Jane Austen’s House at Chawton (from the museum brochure) and my entrance ticket to the museum.
This rather crumpled-up cut-out from a brochure, which I received at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, shows the Austen family tree.
I bought this crowded, yet informative postcard at the Jane Austen Centre, displaying the different places that Jane Austen stayed in and where the characters of her novels venture out in Bath.
The next page is dedicated to Bath, with my entrance tickets to the Georgian House Museum and the Fashion Museum/Assembly Rooms.
Jane Austen’s iconic writing desk deserved to have a page of its own.
This postcard from the Jane Austen Centre is of a letter sent by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra – her friend and confidante. Jane sent this letter from Queen Square and in it she describes how pleased she is with their lodgings, as opposed to their earlier rooms at the Paragon. It is amazing, as always, to read her handwriting, which is as stable as print and a piece of art by itself.
Finally, the below cut-out from the Jane Austen Centre brochure displays the chronology of Jane Austen’s life, from her parents’ marriage to the posthumous publication of her books.
Have you made similar scrapbooks of your trips?