Posts Tagged ‘Declan Kiely’

Last month I wrote about my trip to the Morgan Library in New York to view A Woman’s Wit:Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy, and of my impressions of the letters.

Exhibition room for Jane Austen's artifacts at the Morgan Library

But I didn’t mention the many other interesting artifacts: the Gillray prints of a lady dressing and Rowlandson’s caricature of The Comforts of Bath,

Progress of the Toilet, The Stays, James Gillray

the books that Jane owned,

Jane Austen's personal books, including The Spectator and Poems by William Cowper

a lovely steel engraved oval image of her,

Steel engraved image of Jane Austen and Lady Susan

an original copy of the Memoir of Jane Austen, fair copies of the first 7 letters of Lady Susan,

Viewing the Lady Susan letters on the far wall of the exhibit room

a rough 12-page fragment of The Watsons, a watercolor by Paul Sandby,

Paul Sandby's View in a Park

and a well-known image from An Analysis of Country Dances by Wilson, 1811.

Five positions from An Analysis of Country Dancing by Wilson, 1811

An account of Jane’s personal purchases of a little over 42 pounds for the year (1807), Isabel Bishop’s images for Pride and Prejudice,

Isabel Bishop's image of Jane and Bingley standing together

and the correspondence between Jane and Cassandra, her letter to Francis Talbot, the Countess of Morley and a letter from the Prince Regent’s librarian, James Clarke add to our knowledge of her world.

James Clarke's letter to Jane Austen, on the left

There were artifacts from Byron and Fanny Burney and Sir Walter Scott, and more images than I can recall so many weeks later.

The Panorama of London

William Blake and Georges Mail drew two portraits that forcibly reminded me of my internal images of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet

Georges Maile (fl. 1818–1841) Marchioness of Huntley.

Which brings me to my only (and major) disappointment with this exhibit: no catalogue. Thankfully, I can reconstruct my memory of the visit from my notes, images I have gleaned online or taken myself, and from a list provided by the Morgan Library (see the link below.) For anyone who lives within striking distance of the Morgan Library, you have until March 14th to travel to New York. The exhibition room might be small, but it is filled with treasures and is well worth the effort.

More links:

View PBS’s video of the Jane Austen exhibit at the Morgan Library on YouTube.

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