Jane Austen and Me

I got some news last Tuesday that took my breath away.

In the past two years, I’ve written (among other things) four mysteries for adults. Three were part of a historical series. One novel featured Jane Austen.

This week I got an email from a woman in charge of collections at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, England.

It was about my Austen novel, A Dangerous Tide, and her decision to add it to the museum’s Reading Room.

Felt Like a Dream

Sue Dell, from the museum, said the following: “Having reviewed your book we have decided we will place your book on our public shelves in the Reading Room at Jane Austen’s House. It will remain on the shelves for 12 months. We like to show the public that Jane still inspires writers today, and your story is a lovely example of this.”

I read the email several times before it sank in. My novel featuring my all-time favorite author, Jane Austen, is sitting on a shelf in Jane’s house in England, just down the short hallway from the dining room where Jane sat at her tiny, twelve-sided table and

Jane Austen's famous 12-sided writing table

wrote Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and others.

I was more thrilled by her email–and my book being placed in their Reading Room–than any award I ever received for a book. Below is a photo of one side of the reading room, and the other photo shows Sue Dell adding A Dangerous Tide to the shelves. [And below that, I'll share a dozen photos of places in Jane's house that appear in the book.]

Jane Austen House Museum Reading Room

Sue Dell, Collections Volunteer

The Fun of Onsite Research

The events in the book were purely fictional, but the historical setting is accurate, the historical events of the time are real, and the Austen family is based on a lot of research done over the years of enjoying her books and movies and biographies.

For those of you who subscribe to the series (and for my friends who’ve read the book), I thought I’d share some photos of my trip to Jane’s house last September. I have included photos of places featured in the book’s story.

In no particular order then…

Jane Austen House Museum, Chawton, England

Jane's pony cart

outdoor bakehouse

kitchen hearth

Jane's upstairs bedroom overlooking court

seeing Jane's view from her bedroom window

courtyard below Jane's bedroom; bakehouse opposite

relaxing in the Austen garden


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12 Responses to Jane Austen and Me

  1. Karin Larson says:

    Congratulations, Kristi! Wonderful news:)

  2. Myra Johnson says:

    How exciting, Kristi! Congratulations!

    Love seeing you in the photos of Jane Austen’s house. That must have been an amazing trip!

    • kwpadmin says:

      Myra, thank you. Yes, it was an amazing trip. I felt so blessed the ten days I was gone. I was sick nearly all of last year, and I almost cancelled the trip, but those ten days I felt really well and slept well! God was so good to me that whole time. I took about 900 pictures. A little overboard maybe, but other than buying books, I don’t spend much money. :-) [On another note, I'm so glad you and I have kept in touch over these many years.]

  3. Vijaya says:

    I drooled over every bit of this post. So exciting. So beautiful. And your book in Jane’s house!!!! Squeeeee!!!!

    • kwpadmin says:

      I love when someone really “gets” my excitement over this, Vijaya! You are a kindred soul, for sure, but I guess we knew that a long time ago, huh? :-)

  4. Deanna Barnes says:

    Wonderful news! Congratulations!

  5. Stephanie says:

    How fantastic! I can only imagine how thrilled you must be! Congratulations, Kristi!

  6. Con-cat-ulations….. This is so thrilling for you. A wonderful achievement and honor.

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