It is no secret that I am a huge Jane Austen fan, but I am also a huge fan of Lucy Worsley.
By day, Lucy is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, but by night she is a prolific and talented writer, with several factual, history filled books to her name.
What Lucy does not know about the regency era you could probably write on a postage stamp.
I have watched and enjoyed all her programs on TV, including ones about the Georgiana’s, the Regency Period and especially her latest offering on Jane Austen, with great interest and enthusiasm.
It seemed very fitting that Lucy should do a program, and then a nationwide tour, to share her knowledge, thoughts and personal views on dear Jane, in this, the 200th anniversary of her death.
I was lucky enough to get front row seats at one of her recent venues, and I was not disappointed.
Lucy’s knowledge was expansive, and she delivered her talk in an articulate and amusing way, using screenshots to inflame our imagination. Indeed, as Jane herself might say, her delivery and execution were perfection itself.
Lucy had us all laughing with her, and at times almost crying with her, as she revealed the ups and downs of Jane’s life.
Afterwards, Lucy had time for photo’s and autographs with all who wanted one.
As you can see in the picture at the start of this post, I wore my Jane Austen T-Shirt, and the picture is great, but in this next picture, you can see the moment when Lucy realised that my phone cover, (being used to take the picture) also has a Jane Austen theme.
Did you know there were eight Austen children in the Stevenson Rectory, six boys and two girls. However, the number of children does not stop there. To make ends meet, her father, the Revd. George Austen, also ran it as a boarding school for the sons of local gentlemen! Apparently Jane was no a stranger to hard work as she helped her mother and sister, both called Cassandra, look after the men and boys.
Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but the journey Lucy takes you on, around all Jane’s former homes, is fascinating.
I highly recommend it.
And if you get a chance to see Lucy live, then grab it with both hands, you will not be disappointed.
Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley, published by Hodder & Stoughton is available at numerous outlets including Amazon and Waterstones.