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|Letter 70 (Brabourne 55)
Written by Myretta
(8/20/2011 10:38 a.m.)
We now jump to April 18 1811. The LeFaye edition indicates that there are some missing letters between July 1809 and April 11, but the fact that Jane and Cassandra were together for much of this times helps explain the dearth of correspondence.
In April of 1811, however, Jane Austen is visiting her brother Henry and his wife Eliza (former deFeuillide) at their home on Sloane Street in London. She is very busy with calls and visits.
She mention seeing the Cookes (cousins) who are staying at Bentinck Street. She and Mary Cooke to to The Liverpool Museum, )a museum of natural history exhibits on display at 22 Picadilly) and to The British Gallery (short for the gallery at the British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom. Jane professes her preferences for people-watching over looking at the exhibits.
Jane Austen and Manon (Mrs. Henry Austen's servant) go to Grafton House, which LeFaye says is probably the premises of Wilding & Kent, drapers. Here, Jane apparently spent extravagantly (for JA) on fabric and trimmings for herself and Cassandra. The "green cruels" she bemoans not finding refers to crewel, a loosely twisted fine two-ply worsted yarn. Apparently Cassandra was hoping for muslin with green embroidery. I am guessing that the Bugle Trimming with which Jane is so satisfied might be Bugle Beads.
Henry takes Jane and others to a play at the Lyceum
Some other names that come up in this letter:
Miss Beaty is probably Miss Beatrice Smith
Henry Walter is a younger cousin of Jane Austen and Eliza Austen (Mrs. Henry)
Mrs. Hill is Jane's good friend Catherine Bigg
The Mary to whom Henry writes about the news from the Navy is Mrs. Francis Austen.
Mrs. K. Is Mrs. Knight. Also, W.Friars is Whitefriars, Mrs. Knight's home.
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