Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In the Garden with Jane Austen

This month I am participating in a reading event called Austen in August.  This event is hosted by Lost Generation Reader.  It's an annual event where you can read as many Jane Austen novels as possible; or just one, which is what I did.  Having seen so many of Jane Austen's movies it tweaked my interest to read a little more about her.  The book I decided to read was In the Garden with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson.

I really enjoyed this book.  The book follows Jane's footsteps through many of the gardens she was documented on visiting regularly and many of the gardens featured in the movies made based on her novels.  The book is extremely well researched and has many references to correlate and document the gardens and the visits Jane made or the actual text from her novels that mention the gardens.
I will share a few of my favorite gardens discussed in the book.   

Source: www.general-southerner.blogspot.com

Chawton Cottage
Chawton Cottage was the home to Jane Austen, her mother, and her sister Cassandra after Jane's father died.  This cottage is where Jane wrote many of her novels.  This house had a very traditional English cottage garden with a mix of flowers, herbs, fruit, and vegetables.  

    You cannot imagine-it is not in Human Nature to imagine what a nice walk we have round the Orchard.  The row of Beech look very well indeed, & so does the young Quickset hedge in the Garden.  I hear today that an Apricot has been detected on one of the Trees.
~Letter from Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage, to her sister, Cassandra, 31 May 1811

source: http://www.chatsworth.org/

Chatsworth House

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the grand estate of Chatsworth is supposed by many to be the inspiration for Pemberley.  The 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice's (starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen) scenes of Pemberley were filmed here. Great estates such as this had huge gardens.  These estates had areas that were generally used for timber, deer, and livestock.  But, the pleasure grounds, closer to the house, were for the use of the people that lived there.  They might include, wooded walks, maybe leading to temples, inspirational structures to sit quietly for contemplation.  Closer to the house there might be shrubberies and drier walks, lawns, flowers gardens, and conservatories.

 Source: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Stoneleigh Abbey

Stoneleigh Abbey is a great estate passed to Thomas Leigh, a cousin of Mrs. Austen, in 1806. The Abbey was converted (just like Northanger Abbey) to a private house when Henry the VIII dissolved the monasteries of England.  It is a large house with extensive pleasure grounds.

   Here we find ourselves on Tuesday....everything is grand & very fine & very large.  The house is larger than I could have supposed....I expected to find everything about the place very fine and all that, but I had no idea of it being so beautiful...The Avon runs near the house amidst green meadows bounded by large and beautiful woods, full of delightful walks...
~Letter from Mrs. Austen to Mary Austen, 13 August 1806 

Source: www.gardenvisit.com

Goodnestone Park

Goodnestone Park was a charming brick house that Jane visited regularly.  The home has 15 acres of gardens including the famous Walled Garden (pictured here).  It has an old fashioned rose garden, a summer garden, a kitchen garden, an alpine garden, and an ornamental greenhouse.

This is just a small sampling of the gardens and grounds discussed in this book.  It was a delight to read and fun to walk of in the footsteps of this Regency era novelist sharing her love of the garden. 

I have read Tea with Jane Austen also written by Kim Wilson.  I read this book at the end of winter this year.  It was interesting to read how important tea was to the culture and with how much care was given to picking out tea for the home in Jane Austen's day.

Have you read a Jane Austen based novel or biography lately?  Have you watched any of the movies based on her work?  

The teacup in the top picture is by Spode the pattern is Blue Italian.  The teapot is marked I. Godinger & Co.
This post was written by Sherry of The Charm of Home blog. 
She can also be found at Pinterest.com/charmofhome and Twitter@ SherryTCOH.


JES said...

I have read Tea with Jane Austen and really enjoyed the history shared. In the Garden with Jane Austen has been in my Amazon cart for the last year :)

P.S. I enjoyed the pictures you shared here...

Maria said...

I'm a big Austen fan too and have never heard of this book, how cool! I've visited some locations connected to her when I was in England, but want to read a little more about her too! :) I loved your post! :)

ANNE said...

I've read and seen everything Austen-related and Death Comes to Pemberley is a masterpiece!! Loved that mini series.


ps I'm watching Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson as I write this. ;)

Janice Kay Schaub said...

I will look for that book on Amazon, it looks really interesting. Thanks for the tip. I love to look at gardens.

Bernideen said...

I love selling the Jane Austen books in my store and enjoy our special section of items. She is one of many favorites! Fun posting!

Sarah said...

Sherry, I'm putting these titles on my reading list. Thank you. Enjoyed your post!

Martha's Favorites said...

These houses are so amazing. I would love to have seen them. Beautiful post today, so very peaceful. I could use a little peace. Blessings, Martha

Marijana said...

You picked up such a nice photos! I love movies about her!

Laurel Stephens said...

I really enjoyed this post, Sherry. Seeing the real gardens behind the author is a treat. I love Jane Austen, have read several of her works, and avidly watch just about every film I can find based on her novels and life. I also love P.D. James, and will now program my Tivo to catch the new mystery at Pemberley. Thanks for the info about it. Can't wait!

Deborah Montgomery said...

My daughter and I love Jane Austen, although I've only seen the movies. She's read all the books too. I read Death Comes to Pemberley, and already have it marked on my calendar! thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, Sherry.

kimberly said...

What fun!

Susan said...

I've read this book and enjoyed it. I would love to do a trip to England based on it.

freddyandpetunia said...

I love Jane Austen and didn't know about this book--but I'll be getting it now! Thanks Sherry--

Angelina B. said...

I will need to read this book! I also really want to visit Chatsworth House!! Thanks for sharing all of this!

Sandra and Hennie Cronje said...

What a wonderful journey
Greetings from South Africa

Susan Clayton said...

I'll be looking into these books - sounds like something my readers group would like also. Thanks for the tip!

Ruth Weston said...

I have the Tea With Jane Austen book and love it...this is a new one to find! Lovely! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

This was marvelous, Sherry. So love Jane Austin - I'll have to look for these books - beautiful post! I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,

Jann Olson said...

Sherry, this bog sounds wonderful! Full of so much history and gorgeous photos. Thanks so much for sharing with SYC.


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