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How very timely as I also hope to see Jane's desk during an upcoming visit. Your directions should make it much easier to find. And I was also wondering about Cassandra' sketch and whether it hung on a wall.


Jennifer, Cassandra's sketch is VERY tiny, and sits in a lighted box in the middle of the room. I made a beeline for the portrait, then came back to it several times, unbelieving that a drawing so small and simple held such power.

I'm so happy to hear other people are going! And I hope my descriptions help. I found the British Library to be very dim in both room and case lighting. I know they need to protect the manuscripts but... When I was visiting the National Art Museumin Reykjavik just a few days before, I found they had a button you could push to turn a light on that illuminated the manuscripts there for about 30 seconds. Maybe they had that option at the BL and I missed it.Make sure to give yourself an afternoon or morning there as they had so many great exhibits and also a restaurant and cafe where you can sit and enjoy an amazing view of George III's glass encased library running in a column in the center of the Library. It's quite stunning.

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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.