June 4 is International Tiananmen Square Day

May 29, 2022 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Look here, because the famous photo of a lone individual blocking a column of tanks is copyrighted, and I can’t show it to you.

For the enormous significance of the protests in 1989 at Tiananmen Square, see here, and also see the PBS DVD Tiananmen, The People Versus the Party.

On June 4 – on every June 4 – wear or carry something black, since the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square wore black to identify their support of freedom of thought in China.

An Indispensable Source About Jane Austen’s Family and World

May 29, 2022 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chawton House in the Snow, March 2008, by Raymoseley at the English Wikipedia

Caroline Jane Knight’s book, Jane & Me, My Austen Heritage, is an indispensable source of new information about Jane Austen’s personality, experiences, family life, and family history.

The author is a descendant of Jane’s brother Edward, so she has both Austen and Knight heritage.

She grew up in Chawton House, and has access to internal family lore and records. Most of the information in her book is not contained in any of the other books on Jane Austen.

Here are some examples of what you will find in Caroline Jane Knight’s book:

Why Jane and Cassandra’s brother George was mostly hidden away, and what

became of him.

– What became of Chawton House over the years, and what it was like to live there.

– The game traditionally played at Christmas in Chawton House.

– The Knights were originally really knights.

– Why the Knight’s adopted Edward, and had him change his last name to Knight.

– Jane Austen’s keen insight that when Edward’s adoptive mother turned the Knight

properties over to Edward, she wasn’t doing Edward a favor.

– Why Edward had to delay giving his mother and sisters (and Martha Lloyd) a

permanent place to live, namely Chawton Cottage: there were financial and legal

challenges that Edward had to settle first.

– What became of Godmersham.

– Chawton was the squire’s residence, and what that meant to the community. When the

author visited Chawton after a long time away from it, as soon as a woman in the town

learned the author’s family name, the woman curtseyed deferentially to the author,

astounding the person who had accompanied the author, and who hadn’t known of her

family background.

– On two occasions in the past, the squire of Chawton was a woman. How the first

female squire of Chawton tried to ensure that all future squires would be male.

– Local jealousy and resentment of the imagined “cushy” easy existence of the squire

and of his family.

– Sandy Lerner’s role in preserving Chawton House. How Chawton house became – at

least temporarily – a museum and research institute on early literature written by

women. (Sandy Lerner is familiar to most serious North American fans of Jane Austen.

Sandy had a wonderful museum of carriages from the Regency period.)

The author mentions the great value of Linda Slothuber’s research on Austen’s family. (Linda is familiar to Jane Austen fans in and around Washington DC.)

The author’s life was full of dramatic changes, and is quite instructive.

The author founded The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation (www.janeaustenlf.org).

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