Saturday, 22 July 2017

Jane Austen's Letter at Torquay Museum


On Thursday I was determined to go to Torquay Museum and see Jane Austen's letter to her sister Cassandra, which was written in 1799.

The letter is rarely on display so it was a real treat to be able to see it and I haven't had the opportunity to go to Chawton in Hampshire to the house museum to see other items.

There is a reflection on the glass case in the photo above, but this is from the museum's overhead lighting - just to assure you that I did not use the flash which would of course damage this fragile letter.

I checked with the museum that I was allowed to take a photo and also put it on the blog, so here it is folks.

There have been news items which discuss the possibility of this letter being sold. It is true that the museum have considered this to raise funds, but at the moment the letter is still in their possession and I hope they can keep it that way.

The contents of the letter are delightful and fun. If you're a Jane Austen fan you can see her humour coming through just as it does in her writing.

I'm so glad I went to see it as I may never have that chance again, especially if the letter goes to a private collector in the future. As a Jane Austen fan it was a special treat.

Until next time
SeagullSuzie

10 comments:

  1. What a joy to see a lesser known memory of Jane Austen. I visited Chawton, but it is more than half a lifetime ago now. I should love to go again. I hope that the Museum can hold on to this important piece of Jane memorabilia. Perhaps a literary figure may step up to the mark ( J K Rowlings springs to mind, she has plenty of dosh!)

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    1. Chawton has some letters, but what a surprise to find one in my local museum. I really hope they don't sell it and I think it was on display once before but I missed that.

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  2. Oh My Goodness what a wonderful treat.
    I hope the Museum can keep it. Or the new owner can lend it out for a show or two.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It really was a very special feeling to be so close to and read her actual words-might sound silly but it was as you say a wonderful treat.

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  3. How exciting that you got to see this!!

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    1. Hi Amy, yes very exciting, so many wonderful things in this world and hopefully I'll get to visit Chawton one day and see more of her things.

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  4. What a super treat that must have been and so exciting for you :) I've never been to Chawton either but I do love her books. I do hope the museum can keep the letter it would be such a shame if it went to a private collector and was hidden away.

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    1. I love the way she wrote, so bright and witty and very entertaining. It's always a temptation to sell off your biggest (i.e. most expensive) assets and put the money to something else, in this case an endowment fund, but I think it's a mistake...the old saying 'you never know what you've got 'till it's gone' springs to mind.

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  5. It must have been a real treat to see this letter. I too am a Jane Austin fan and still haven't made it to Chawton either. We did go to Lyme Regis Museum last week and they did have a display about her there too. Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah, it was and I'm so glad I went. Would love to go to Chawton sometime as well as Thomas Hardy's NT property.

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