Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beavering away on Chawton Cottage

Okay, so some of this is stuck down and some is in a state of flux. Is this a metaphor for my life I ask myself in ironic tone.

I am afraid it is becoming a bit unwieldy. For a "cottage" Jane Austen's was a bit of a humdinger as far as size goes. I have had to add on more at the sides as I go along to try to approximate to the rather grand proportions.

Looks like the turkey might be squeezed out. But there goes Jane Austen crossing the street. And her mum is at the door. Though she looks a wee bit too much like she is in her pyjamas at the moment so that will have to be changed.

I have been mugging up on Chawton Cottage for some background info: It was already 120 years old when the Austens moved in, part of Jane's brother Edward's estate. He improved it quite a lot for them, adding on more rooms at the back, apparently. Jane, her mother, her sister and their friend Martha Lloyd were not the only inhabitants, there were several servants. No wonder the place is a bit of a sprawler rather than a poky two up two downer with roses round the door traditional building associated with the word "cottage".

And it must have had an interesting view, looking out as it did over the main road to Winchester with all the comings and goings of the coaches that that implies. And the clatter. In fact in one of her letters Jane describes looking out of the front window and seeing the face of one of her nephews inside a passing coach.

Anyway, enough of this and back to the drawing board. I am setting myself a this week deadline for this larger-than-usual piece.


  1. It's gorgeous, Amanda, you've really got into your writer's houses series and they exude atmosphere and character. We're (Barry too) really enjoying following your progress on this one.

  2. Love it! The red really gives it a Christmas feel. And again, a fascinating story to go with it.

  3. Belated thanks all. I always forget to look in my comments box. Actually I forget to look in my real (as opposed to virtual) mailbox. The snails had had such a go at one letter languishing in it recently I reckon it could be a strong contender for the Turner Prize.