Jane Austen Tour — January 3-12, 2013
Led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Skidmore College
Edventures is pleased to announce a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on Thursday, January 3 and returns Saturday, January 12. To bring the world of Jane Austen to life, we will travel to Steventon, Chawton, Winchester, and Bath for an exploration of areas central to Austen’s life and fiction. Our visit will take travelers to the communities that were important to Jane’s personal development and provided inspiration for the characters and enduring novels we have come to love.
The tour will begin in the city of Winchester with a visit to the famous cathedral and Jane’s burial site. From Winchester, we will take a day trip to two nearby communities: Steventon, where Austen was born and lived until 1801 when she moved to Bath, and Chawton, her final home, which is now Jane Austen’s House Museum. Steventon is a small village where in Jane’s time the stagecoach went back and forth to London twice a day. Its social life and traditions fueled her imagination and fill the pages of novels that she drafted in Steventon and later revised in Chawton and published under the titles of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Northanger Abbey (published in 1818 after her death). Jane’s literary output thrived at Chawton where she conceived her other great novels—Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), and Persuasion (also published in 1818 after her death). Imagine seeing the table where she sat and revised Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and the rooms where she conceived her other great novels.
Settling in Bath, we will use the facilities of this beautiful Georgian city as a living classroom to explore where Jane Austen lived from 1801-1806 and the settings vital to the characterization and plot of two novels set in Bath, Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818). Time will be devoted to the Bath streets and locations important to Austen and her characters—including the Pump Room, part of the Roman Bath complex where the genteel went to see and be seen, and the magnificent Assembly Rooms with amazing chandeliers. Day trips include a visit to the coastal town of Lyme Regis, a setting important to Persuasion, and Lacock, which the BBC used as the setting for its productions of Emma and Pride and Prejudice (yes, the Colin Firth version) as well as for Cranford. We will also enjoy the Roman Baths and the New Royal Baths opened only a few years ago, which offer the full range of spa services in a striking setting. There will be plenty of free time to enjoy the waters and other activities that strike your fancy.
In keeping with Edventure’s mission of “Adventure Travel That Educates,” the trip will be led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Professor of English at Skidmore College where she teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture and Jane Austen. She is author of Posting It: The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing (2009)—winner of the SHARP George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Prize and the Chicago Philatelic Society’s 2011 Vermeil Medal—and Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction (2003). She is editor of five books including Book Illustrated: Text, Image, and Culture 1770-1930 (2000); her lectures include a presentation at the Smithsonian and the 2012 Moseley Distinguished Faculty Lecture at Skidmore. Catherine has led several study groups on Jane Austen on location, so Edventures travelers will benefit from her vast knowledge of the areas we will visit as well as her enthusiasm and expertise in all things Jane.
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