It took me a year and a half to write my book, Jane Austen for Kids, and during that year hardly a day went by when I wasn’t being helped by somebody along my journey. I discovered that Janeites on the whole are a delightful and eclectic group. So many have such generous hearts and are eager to share all-things-Jane. Thank you one and all who have helped me with your expertise and with your heart.
Thank you, Anthony Hughes-Onslow, from Chawton House. It was a joy to meet you and tour this wonderful site that holds so many of Jane’s memories. And thank you Darren Bevin for your time and help with getting hi-res images from your collection.
Thank you, Tony Pears, for granting permission to use my photographs from St. Nicholas Church in Chawton. It was very meaningful to visit your church and churchyard, one of the loveliest spots in the countryside with its gravestones of Jane Austen’s mother and sister Cassandra set against the backdrop of pastoral scenery with grazing sheep.
For the collection of images I was able to use from the Jane Austen House Museum, I appreciate the help from Isabel Snowden and Mary Guyatt. Thank you for assisting me even at the last minute with the Christmas rush as I was rapidly approaching my deadline!
A big thank you to Paul Crossey at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. Paul, what a pleasure it was to meet you and explore your wonderful collection! Your generosity and enthusiasm for using my photographs of my visit at the Centre really helped me on my project and brought sunshine to my days. THANK YOU!
Thank you, Marilyn Wright, for permission to use my photographs of St. Nicholas Church in Steventon. And how lovely it was to meet you standing outside near the shade of the ancient yew tree!
Thanks to Liz Leask at the Hampshire Cultural Trust, I appreciate the generous image you shared in my book of Jane Austen’s pelisse. It was so exciting to see it in person when I visited the Winchester Discovery Centre after receiving the hi-res image in my e-mail.
Thank you to all the great Janeans who gave me permission to walk around your site and snap tons of photographs and use them for my book project:
Rachel Allen at Stoneleigh Abbey
Janet Cornish and Tim Gleghorn at St. Swithin’s Church in Bath
Susan Gilmour and Simon Barwood at the Winchester Cathedral
Siobhan McConville, Carly, and the folks at Twinings Tea Shop
Joanne Wilson at the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum in Lichfield
Kathryn Houldcroft at the Roman Baths and Pump Room
A special thanks goes to Richard Knight, whose love and admiration for his Great-Great-Aunt Jane is contagious. What a joy it was to meet you and listen to your first-hand insight about your family’s history. Thanks for your enthusiastic support of this project!
And very special thanks goes out to two talented artists who generously shared their talent in my book. I know I’m saying thank you from all the children, teens, and adults who read my book and will benefit from enjoying your art.
Carol Taylor, thank you for your generous heart to share your talented drawings of historic buildings and Regency costumes.
Juliet McMaster, thank you for so cheerfully offering to share your delightful illustrations of Jane’s Juvenilia piece, “The Beautifull Cassandra.” (Spelling was kept the same as Jane originally spelled the title.)
JASNA (The Jane Austen Society of North America)
Whether you’re just discovering the magic of Jane Austen or have been a fan of hers for years, you simply MUST join JASNA (or the Jane Austen Society in your region of the world). I’m glad I joined!
For starters, the minute I joined JASNA I was connected in a huge way with wonderful folks all over North America who treasure Jane. I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of community who delight in Jane, Jane, everything Jane. (You know what I mean if you’re one of us who never get too much of Jane.) Almost immediately, I found in my e-mail opportunities to take my adventure writing my book over the top.
JASNA sponsored a 200 year celebration tour that would take us to a private graveside ceremony at Winchester Cathedral on the 200th anniversary of her death as well as numerous celebrations taking place all over Hampshire and other parts of England during this commemorative year.
My husband Jeff and I signed up. Our fearless tour leader was Liz Cooper, and we couldn’t have been in better hands. Liz comes from a family of Janeites and Liz shared her passion and love for Jane Austen with us all. Thank you Liz, for a wonderful tour! Our tour guide was Marion Bacon. Thank you Marion for all the exciting tidbits of trivia and special readings from Jane’s books that you shared as we toured through Jane’s Hampshire and other favorite spots. And thank you Colin, our staunch tour bus driver who drove us even to get to places along seemingly impossible roads. And Hugh, along with your staff, you truly made this tour a trip of a lifetime. Jeff and I were on Tour B. Yay! What a great group of friends we met. It was wonderful to relax together, indulge in divine clotted cream together, browse antique shops together, and walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps together. I’ll remember you all with sweet fondness as I see your smiling faces in my personal photographs.
After this amazing 10-day tour was over, what more could JASNA have to offer? Why, their AGM (Annual General Meeting) of course! To my shock and delight, I discovered that their gala annual affair was being held in my back yard in 2017 at Huntington Beach where Jeff and I had our first date 36 years ago! Of course I had to attend. Along with wonderful speakers, fun classes (I learned some country dances and stitched up my own reticule), and special music (putting Jane’s prayers to song) I got to reconnect with many of my new friends from Tour B. Plus, Liz Cooper was elected as the new President-Elect of JASNA. (Way to go, Liz!) And I got to meet, in person, some of the people I admire the most including family members of Jane and researchers/authors/scholars whose research books impacted my book. It was, once again, the experience of a lifetime.
Thank you JASNA! I’m looking forward to more wonderful times ahead!!!
I would be remiss if I didn’t include a thank you to Chris Rawlings and the British Library. Thank you for your help with images as well as permission to quote content from Jane Austen’s Juvenilia notebooks in your collection.
Thank you also, Colin Harris at the Boolean Library in Oxford, for your time and help with permission to quote from Jane Austen’s Juvenilia, Volume the First.
I would like to thank my dear husband, Jeff, for all the support, feedback, and fun times we had these last couple of years and will continue to have as my book takes on a life of its own. We watched so many different versions of Jane Austen movies together, listened to Jane Austen audio books while driving all over southern CA together, and celebrated our 35th Anniversary touring England, walking in Jane Austen’s footsteps together. I love you, Jeff!
And thank you to Dan and Shirley, Ben and Christina and our grandkids, for sharing in teatimes together (What’s Jane Austen without a tea?) and the joy of this book’s journey.
And finally, I want to thank the young men and women (you know who you are) who came to our house to learn how to dance English country dances and play Regency-era card games. What fun we had together!