] My how the time does fly! I'm still not done with Bath, and Manydown, and ..
I had to skip Bath alltogether. But I hope to visit it in real life instead.
You seem to ask the same questions that I do Caroline.Why did Edward wait so long to help them? They left Bath in July 1806. But had they decided to leave Bath for good then? They intended to spend time in Clifton, wich I think was a kind of spa town. But then went to Adlestrop,to visit Rev.Thomas Leigh. How was he related to them?
It's quite hopeless to sort out this web of family connections. But i came to the conclution that he was a cousin to Mrs Austen's father. (But who cares, we can't remember it anyway). And then they went to Stoneigh Abbey together, because Mr Th.Leigh had inherited this great house.
Comimg back to Edward, I think he didn't offer them help at this
time bacause he probably didn't know what their plans were. And it seems they didn't know themselves. Then came brother Francis' offer of his house in Southampton. We don't know of course what they communicated to Edward about their situation. Mrs Austen might have felt unconfortable to ask for help. But the following time they seems to have been constantly travelling back and forth between and staying at different places. Was that a way for Mrs Austen to sponge on her relatives? They had a family come together in the Great House in Chawton in Sept 1807, and later in Southampton. So the situation for Mrs Austen and the daughters must have been discussed. It's said that the turn came after Edwards wife had died in 1808. Perhaps that made them feel closer to each other.
Why was Chawton the choice? I think it was simply because it was closer to "home" so to speak. Closer to the familiar Hampshire. Had they anything in particular against the Godmersham alternative? I can't guess. I have to read more before I dare to have an opinion about that.
And speaking of reading more. I'm afraid a have to take a pause in my writing to the board. The number of books about or related to Jane Austen is piling up in my bookcase. Some of them I've started reading, some only leafed through. Some I've not even opened yet. And the worst of all, I've had "The Letters" for nearly a year and I still haven't started reading them properly!
I have to make a choice. It's writing or reading, I can't do both. I hope I will be able to stay away for a while, but it won't be easy ;-)