“They’re your people,” Mom said to me after we had paid the Jane Austen Society.
They were elderly British women. I certainly did feel a kinship with them. In that moment I might as well have been an old British woman with them.
I explored every room in the house and drooled over the costumes. The light filtered through the windows and I filed in line behind some other observers down the tiny hallways. I hadn’t been sure what to expect with the house. It reminded me of the Longbourn house from Pride and Prejudice. The house wasn’t grand or elegant, but simple and homey. I could imagine Jane Austen walking through the narrows halls.
When we found another souvenir room, my mom practically had to drag me away from buying a copy of Pride and Prejudice. I stared up at the bookshelf longingly. The covers were different than the ones back in the States. An elderly woman sat in the corner ready to take people’s money.
“You already have one,” Mom reminded me.
She didn’t understand, though. This was a book from Jane Austen’s house! But, I refrained. Instead I purchased a little painting of the Chawton house that still hangs on a wall in my bedroom.
After taking a few pictures around the house, we started back towards Alton. The pure happiness that filled me made me feel like a kid again.
We waited for the bus and I couldn’t stop looking down at my little painting. I would always remember this day. In fact, I would always remember this trip. My mom wanted to go on one big trip with me before I started school and moved away. This one would certainly be memorable. We would always remember the craziness of Camden Town, seeing a lady get pulled aside for videotaping in the Tower of London, and the way we couldn’t figure out the Tube the first day. But the most memorable thing would be the trip to Jane Austen’s house.