Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Going For (Austen) Gold Part One

Winchester. Once the capital city of England and a place full of history and tributes. The cathedral itself holds a great many of them, all on it’s own. Mary I was married to Philip of Spain here but perhaps more importantly to us in our modern day Jane Austen is buried here.

I see you’ve noticed the tone of my voice – I am indeed writing this in the building itself. When I heard about the Jane Austen Exhibition my newly-made admiration for the author was nudged and this, along with the fact that it’s historic overall, lead me to drive all the way to Winchester.

The gold plaque on the wall by Austen's grave

I’ve taken photographs, how could I not? But the quality of them leaves much to be desired. I know that I felt a bit anxious over the fact that I was taking photographs in a church, but the blurring suggests I was in a rush, which I wasn’t. And I’m afraid I don’t know what happened when I took the photo of the grave itself, I thought I’d got all the text in. There’s no photo of the cathedral’s exterior. All in all a very bad day for me and pictures.

I have seen Austen’s handwriting – very neat and with good spacing between lines. The grave is small, one of those on the floor, easily miss-able but for the gold plaque on the wall near it. But for the gold you would likely walk straight past the grave stone and be none the wiser unless you were scanning the floor as you went.

Jane Austen's grave

I wove my way about the gravestones. Do you ever find yourself doing that? It’s a bit like the superstitious idea of missing the cracks in tiled floor; perhaps it’s respect gone crazy as after all in some places it’s practically impossible to walk past without stepping on one, but I had this strange thought that I would look better if I was seen to be making an effort. And not to the patrons mind you, the dead themselves.

In addition to the gravestones there are a couple of tiny “chapels” which are basically tiny (really tiny) rooms holding large tombs. They are surrounded by pillars, a kind of mini cloister, and house statues above the tombstone, I guess to represent an altar. The men buried within are clergymen.

This is a very poor post, I’m all too aware of that fact, so I hope to put it right in part two.



June 25, 2010, 11:31 am

I would be nervous about taking a picture in a church as well. I had never seen a picture of this before though, so I have to say a small thank you :).

And like you, I don’t like stepping on gravestones and try to walk around them.

1 Comment


Comments closed