Hopefully, most of you know that this week marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. This is an important landmark for me personally, because I have a deep love for Darcy. Uh, and Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Bennet. Basically, Jane Austen is the only reason I even have this blog. So I owe her a lot, and I owe her books a lot, especially Pride and Prejudice! In order to commemorate this great event, I re-watched the Colin Firth movie version, re-read my favorite parts and *drumroll* VISITED JANE AUSTEN’S HOUSE WHERE SHE ACTUALLY LIVED AND ACTUALLY WROTE PARTS OF HER BOOKS ON THE ACTUAL 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACTUAL PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! I am still dying of excitement! Naturally, I have to fill you in on my experience. Her house is located in Chawton village, which is this small town in England that’s almost an hour and a half out of London. When I arrived in Chawton, I took a 40-minute bus ride to a stop uncomfortably named “Alton Butts” (so every time I got lost, I had to ask people where the butt bus stop was…) and then took a ten-minute walk to finally arrive at her beautiful English cottage! Treacherous journey aside, there was nothing like this place. You walk up to it and it’s like you are immediately transported into one of her stories. I almost cried, I swear. Since it was the 200th anniversary, the staff of the museum put on a special exhibition. They had the original illustrations done by Hugh Thomson for a special edition of the book, and they had the original letter that Jane Austen wrote to Cassandra when she learned that her “child” as she put it was to be published. There was also some lacework that Jane did, a quilt she made with her sister and mother and, oh, just the table at which she wrote all of her novels. No big.
It was pretty incredible. I mean, the special exhibits were awesome, but the act of just being there, in the place where she was able to do what she loved, was the best part. It was like living in your favorite story. I’ve always wanted to enter the worlds in my favorite books, and today, I did. But that’s enough of me telling you about it. I shall let the pictures speak for themselves.