You are going to love visiting the library— The British Library—online!
Jane Austen’s History of England is available and you can turn the pages!
When you click on the link for Jane Austen, you are offered choices for viewing, including, “I am using Microsoft Vista or have the .Net 3 plugin for Windows XP.” I wasn’t sure I had the plugin for XP, but I checked it anyway, and it worked.
The page turning effect is charming, but it gets even better, if you use the tools on the screen.
“Listen” allows you to listen to a British lady reading page by page with appropriate expression. If you click “Read,” the text is displayed in a popup. Jane Austen had beautiful handwriting, but it is hard for our eyes to adjust to the style of letters used in the late 1700s, so the text helps.
Check out all of the tools.
I have been a fan of Jane Austen for a long time—long before my Quilted Diamonds books. I have been a fan for so long that I cannot watch the Colin Firth movie. (I assure you; it is the horridest nonsense you can imagine. 1) The 1980 BBC version with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie is much, much better.
I bought my first copy of The History of England at Harrods on my first visit to Britain in 1978. I wanted to see Harrods, but the book department was the only one with prices I could afford. The little book was my souvenir.
Since then, a facsimile of the book has been added to my JA library. The illustrations were drawn by Cassandra, Jane Austen’s beloved sister, and there is speculation that several of them are actually portraits of members of the Austen family—not the monarchs. (JASNA, Persuasions)
You can trust Jane Austen. On the first page, she promises that there will be very few dates, and she is good for it. The only dates mentioned are “May 6” and one other, which you can find for yourself. It is a good joke by the sixteen year old Austen.
If you are familiar with Jane Austen’s History of England, you are in for a treat.
If you are not familiar with Jane Austen’s History of England, I envy you. This is an amazing way to read it for the first time.
Of course, you also need Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery whether or not you want to sew a replica of the famous quilt. (There are photos of Chawton, Bath, Winchester, and Hampshire under the Jane Austen tab on my web site too.) To learn how to hand piece, see Jane Austen’s Writing Table Quilts (at a sale price).
Now get over to the British Library. It is worth it, even if you had “to walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above [your] ancles in dirt, and alone, quilte alone!” 2
What could be better than a little sewing while you listen?
Thank you for visiting me here.
Linda & Monkey
On a quilting blog? Are you surprised?
“All the overpowering, blinding, bewildering, first effects of strong surprise were over with her.” 3
1. Northanger Abbey, Ch. 7
2. Pride and Prejudice, Ch. 8
3. Persuasion, Ch. 19
4. Pride and Prejudice, Ch. 32
“When the door opened, and to her very great surprise Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy only, entered the room. He seemed astonished. . .” 4