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how nice it is!

my first idea of what to left was the idea of a little handwritten book with poems from my favourite poet (Rainer Maria Rilke), covered with an elegant dark fabric, with a dried blossom of a forget-me-not between the pages...

Maren, that is an absolutely delicious idea. I love the pressed flower.

Beautiful paper - your letter will be cherished, I'm sure!

I would embroider a small token - a pen-wipe case, perhaps with the initials JA, to sit on Jane's writing table, or a small needle book for her work bag. I love to make the small tokens of friendship that were common among ladies in the Regency era.


I'd leave her the most beautiful small notebook bound with dusty rose leather, and with a small pencil attached, so she could use it to write new pieces of brilliance in. On the front in exquisite gold letters her name would be stamped. On the inside cover I would write: "To Jane, whose literary genius has delighted readers and writers alike, the world over. With sincere thanks, Elizabeth.

Fun idea! How about a book of little poetic riddles and conundrums like the one Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith made? Decorated with sketches and watercolors. The riddles could be addressed to Jane Austen or be related to her books.

These are so brilliant, everyone! I wish I'd read of this practice sooner, I would have put out a call, then taken all these with me & had a marvelous time hiding them all over the house.

How I envy you - in a nice way - for travelling to London and walking in Jane's footsteps. I have yet to embark on such a trip. But happening it will. I am thoroughly researching and off I shall go on my pilgrimage. Have you seen any other of her place yet?
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About Chris Stewart

  • Bio
    I'm program director for literary arts for my state arts council. I direct the state Poetry Out Loud program for the NEA. I have degrees. I teach writing. I've published my work. I write novels, poetry, and plays. I love chocolate, am talkative, a realist and idealist, prefer flannel to silk, am a real blonde, and consider books my life - reading them, writing them, smelling them, tasting them (yeah, I've licked a page or two in my time. Who hasn't?).

What I've Read

  • Jane Austen: Lady Susan/The Watsons/Sanditon, Penguin, 1974 (intro Margaret Drabble)
  • Claire Tomalin: Jane Austen, A Life. Vintage Books, New York, 1997.
  • Jane Austen: Persuasion - Penguin Classics Series, edited by Gillian Beer. April, 2003.
  • Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho with intro by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Dover Publications, New York, 2004 (originally G.G. and J. Robinson, London, 1794 and titled: The Mysteries of Udolpho, A Romance; Interspersed with Some Pieces of Poetry.
  • Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, with intro by Alfred Mac Adam, Columbia University. Barnes & Noble classic, New York, 2005. (1818)
  • Jane Austen: Mansfield Park, with intro by Amanda Claybaugh, Columbia University. Barnes & Noble classic, New York, 2004 (1814)
  • Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility with intro and notes by Laura Engel. A Barnes and Noble Classics Book. New York, 2004. (1811)
  • Jane Austen: Emma, A Signet Classic with an Afterword by Graham Hough. The New American Library of Canada, Limited, 1964.
  • Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice -The World's Classics edition, edited by James Kinsley, with intro by Isobel Armstrong. Oxford University Press, 1990.