Celebration of the Life of Jane Austen

On this day, 200 years ago, Jane Austen died at Number 8 College Street in Winchester, Hampshire.

In Memory of JANE AUSTEN, youngest daughter of the late Revd GEORGE AUSTEN, formerly Rector of Steventon in this County. She departed this Life on the 18th of July 1817, aged 41, after a long illness supported with the patience and the hopes of a Christian. The benevolence of her heart, the sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind obtained the regard of all who knew her and the warmest love of her intimate connections. Their grief is in proportion to their affection, they know their loss to be irreparable, but in their deepest affliction they are consoled by a firm though humble hope that her charity, devotion, faith and purity have rendered her soul acceptable in the sight of her REDEEMER.

I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself. I loved her only too well — not better than she deserved, but I am conscious that my affection for her made me sometimes unjust to and negligent of others; and I can acknowledge, more than as a general principle, the justice of the Hand which has struck this blow.
- Cassandra Austen to niece Fanny Knight
You can read the full letter here.


Join Us This Weekend!

Hello Everyone!

We have a great program planned for our July celebration of Jane Austen's Life.

Please share with everyone who would enjoy celebrating the life of Jane Austen with us.

We are planning on doing some dramatic readings and are looking for volunteers to take on a part.  We'll all be reading from the scripts so take a look and see if anything looks interesting to you!

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!


Regency Woman Wednesday - Grace Elliot

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Grace Dalrymple Elliott
Grace Elliott was a Scottish courtesan and spy who resided in Paris at the time of the French Revolution. Elliott was an eyewitness to events which she detailed in her memoirs, Journal of My Life during the French Revolution (Ma Vie Sous La RĂ©volution) published posthumously in 1859. During her lifetime she also served as the mistress to the Duke of OrlĂ©ans, and the future George IV, by whom she is said to have born an illegitimate daughter. Elliott trafficked correspondence and hid French aristocrats wishing to escape the French Revolution. She was arrested several times but managed to avoid the guillotine and was released after the death of Robespierre.

Life in England
She met Lord Cholmondeley at the Pantheon in 1776. They began a liaison that lasted three years. Thomas Gainsborough painted her portrait in 1778, which is in the Frick Collection in New York City. In 1782, she had a quiet and short intrigue with the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV), and gave birth on 30 March 1782 to a daughter who used the name Georgina Seymour (1782–1813), but was baptised at St Marylebone as Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour.

Grace declared that the Prince was the father of her child and The Morning Post said in January 1782 that he admitted responsibility. However, when the child, who was very dark, was first shown to the Prince he is said to have remarked, "To convince me that this is my girl they must first prove that black is white."

The Prince and many others regarded Lord Cholmondeley as the father, though the Prince's friends said that Charles William Wyndham (brother of Lord Egremont), whom she was thought to resemble, claimed paternity. Yet others thought she might have been fathered by George Selwyn. Lord Cholmondeley brought up the girl and, after her early death in 1813, looked after her only child.

Elliott, Grace Dalrymple (2011) [1859], During the reign of terror : journal of my life during the French revolution, ISBN 9781230200811

Depictions in film and literature
A dramatic portrayal of part of her life is contained in the 2001 film The Lady and the Duke. English actress Lucy Russell played Grace and Jean-Claude Dreyfus played the Duke of Orleans.

Grace Elliott also appears as a major character in Hallie Rubenhold's novel The French Lesson (Doubleday, 2016).

From her Wikipedia Page


Regency Man Monday - William Arden

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William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
(8 January 1789 – 16 November 1849)

William Arden was a British Army officer, peer and socialite, who was one of a close circle of young men surrounding the Prince Regent. Lord Alvanley was a prominent Regency buck and member of the Prince Regent's circle, and was friends with Beau Brummell. He was popular in society and regarded as wittiest man of his day. He, Brummell, Henry Mildmay, and Henry Pierrepoint were considered the prime movers of Watier's club, dubbed "the Dandy Club" by Lord Byron. They were also the four hosts of the July 1813 masquerade ball at which the Prince Regent greeted Alvanley and Pierrepoint, but then "cut" Brummell and Mildmay by snubbing them, staring them in the face but not speaking to them. Brummell then said to Alvanley, "Alvanley, who's your fat friend?". The Prince Regent was not amused; this incident was the final and most public sign that Brummell was no longer favored by "Prinny".

Alvanley continued to support Brummell, sending money to his friend during Brummell's exile in France. In 1835, Alvanley fought a duel with Morgan O'Connell. According to a near contemporary report, "[Alvanley] went through the business with the most perfect sang froid, but on his way to the field he whimsically intimated a singular alarm. Having descended a hollow, 'My Lord', said he to his second, 'you get me down well enough, but', alluding to his full size, 'should I fall, I do not know how the devil you will ever get me up again.'"

He had an extremely lavish lifestyle, funded by income generated by the estates that his father had bought. His prominent position in society also allowed him to float a line of credit. However, his debts became untenable and eventually his family estates had to be sold to pay them off. Underbank Hall in Stockport was sold by auction in 1823 and most of the Bredbury estate was sold in lots in 1825. In 1827 he sold the Willington Estate to Waterloo veteran William Tomkinson, land that would become the site of Willington Hall. The Arden Hall mansion was sold in 1833. He eventually resigned his membership of White's. The death of George IV in 1830 saw Alvanley's society position deteriorate, which was furthered hampered by his limited income. He occasionally contributed to debates in the House of Lords. He did not marry and had no children. On his death, the title went to his only brother, the Hon. Colonel Richard Arden.

From his Wikipedia Page


Wordless Wednesday #152

Source: Austen Only
via CNJ JASNA on Pinterest

(I know it's a small image this week, but click on the source and go read the blog post!)