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|Moving & auction…
Written by Robbin
(9/19/2007 12:07 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Letter 36 :The Sale at Steventon., penned by JulieW
I was surprised at how impractical the Austen’s believed moving their furniture would be; of course I did not consider transportation issues which must have been a great deal more difficult for them than it has been for me. There seems to have been a worry that moving objects meant breaking objects and this was a consideration in the reasoning of whether to keep or sell them.
Some aspects of the auction seem to me very sad indeed—the sale of Jane’s pianoforte, sheet music and her books. I am not quite sure if Jane was as sorry as me; she was speculating and wondering at the prices her pianoforte and books would garner in Letter 36. For her sake I hope it was not yet another sadness to be endured. I do not know if the pianoforte was actually Jane’s or a family object. Will the proceeds be hers to keep or will it go to her father? I wonder if Jane is to have another pianoforte in their new home; perhaps not, otherwise why would they sale the sheet music also?
There was talk in a previous letters of the Austens spending future summers by the sea. Will they continue to rent a home in Bath if they are not residing there; that seems unlikely to me? Am I disparaging their income too much? If so then they will be making more than this initial move and it is even more of a practicality to auction off so many of their possessions—I notice there are fine feather beds and bedding, mattresses listed in the notice to sale. Did they auction off their beds after all or were those extras. I would also like to know how many household items they did keep. I hope future letters will answer some of my questions.
Is it my imagination or has Mary and James acquired an air of Fanny and John Dashwood in their eagerness to take over Steventon and it’s accompaniments since Letter 29? Mary not relating the outcome of the sale is quite insensitive because surely she must know this information would be of the utmost importance to those in Bath. She could trouble herself a little! The painted scenes would to me have been treasured heirlooms, of the kind to be used and enjoyed by the next generation, if not their own. What memories they should have inspired in James! JulieW, I would be honored to add my Grrr… on this matter to yours! As always thanks for the background info—it is a wonderful enhancement to the group read. My admiration abounds. (;D)
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