Blogs & News

blog : A Visit to Chawton – From One Literary House to Another

“Our Chawton home how much we find        Already in it, to our mind; And how convinced that when complete        It will all other Houses beat, That ever have been made or mended, With rooms concise or rooms distended.” Jane Austen to her brother Frank. 1809, on moving into their new home. The No 64 bus from Winchester to Alton dropped us at a roundabout on the A31, just after a large brown sign has pointed the...

blog : Sunshine in the garden

The roses on the pergola are about to flower but a lot of time was needed this week to tie them into the wires. The lawn has responded to the nurturing it has received and is a very healthy green and now risk of frost has passed, the pelargoniums have been planted in the pots at the back of the house. ************* Top row: Scilla peruviana. Scotch burnet rose. Scilla and hosta. Bottom row: Geranium. Double paeony. Double...

blog : Reading the Nineteenth Century

Over the last four months, Sherry Ashworth has been running a reading course at the House - Reading the Nineteenth Century. We've read four Victorian novels, not only for the stories - though these have been exciting - or for their literary merit - which has  often, if not always, been evident - but to see what the books can tell us about the preoccupations of the society these novelists were writing for, and the social and psychological...

blog : A Home not a Museum

For the Victorians, the museum was a space set apart, where otherworldly objects were exhibited neatly arranged in glass cabinets. Displaying a collection like this seeks to highlight the curiosity and strangeness of an object by isolating it from the context in which it originated. The display is seen only from the cultural perspective of the person viewing it, and not in its own right. A Japanese tea bowl or Italian comb are stifled as they are deprived...

blog : Promises kept

The granny's bonnets flowered as they promised last week to do, the azaleas and camassias jointly added a vibrant blast of colour, a small rhododendron made itself known and the judas tree could not be ignored. The gardeners (mere humans) weeded, trimmed the lawn, planted sweet peas and dead-headed narcissi. ********************* Top row: Azaleas and camassias; granny's bonnets by the gate; Cercis Siliquastrum (Judas tree). Bottom row; Rhododendron camtschaticum; view of garden (with distant gardeners!); view of house...