Friday, December 14, 2012

Jane Austen and Tonbridge....

I had a whole load of people buy tickets from me for the Jane Austen talk which was taking place this afternoon at the parish church. An Australian lady who was in the shop this morning had come all the way from Brisbane, or was it Bromley, especially for the talk and walk in the rain. I know that on other occasions people have travelled from the States, Canada and other far flung places for similar events. So what's the connection with Jane Austen and Tonbridge then? What's all the fuss about? Well, aparently she did visit Tonbridge since quite a few family members lived in the area. I believe that her father had been a master at Tonbridge School and that other close family had owned property in the Bordyke region of Tonbridge. The infuriating and frustrating bit though is that there doesn't appear to be any hard, historical evidence to say that she definitely did visit the town only a supposition that she must have. If only something would turn up, like a note book to give us a piece of hard fact, then people would flock from all over the world constantly. Interesting talk though I'm sure it would have been. I certainly managed to sell a dozen of so Pride and Prejudice (a book whot she wrote!) Penguin mugs and a few books on the back of it. So long may Jane Austen's association with Tonbridge flourish....

2 comments:

Elizabeth James said...

The Jane Austen talk was great! I had never come across the concept of the picturesque before, but now I know a whole lot about it. And the cakes afterwards were amazing! Crossed the road afterwards to admire your beautiful shop window. Will make it through the door tomorrow.

Richard Barton said...

What about Dickens? He must, at the very least, have passed through on the train, as he was involved in a nasty train crash somewhere down the line (Staplehurst?)