Jane Austen,  Research

Rings and things

I was going to write today about how, according to brainyhistory.com, on this day in 1820 tomatoes were proved to not be poisonous! A breakthrough even though ketchup had been on Regency tables for some time, Thomas Jefferson had cultivated them (surely not for the flowers?), and in South America people had been chowing down on them for centuries. However I’ve not found any supporting evidence for today being the day, so forget about that…

I expect you’ve read about Jane Austen’s ring coming up for auction. It’s been in the family for almost two centuries, going to her sister Cassandra on Jane’s death. Cassandra then gave it to her sister in law Eleanor (who married brother Henry), who childless, gave it to her niece Caroline  who was the daughter of brother James. It makes me sad that this may be the one and only glimpse of her ring we’ll get unless (please, please) someone buys it and donates it to the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton. Because otherwise what do you do with it? Wear it on special occasions and hope you don’t absentmindedly leave it somewhere (like in a public restroom over the sink)? Keep it in a safe and have dates with it where you open the door and gaze upon it? I just don’t get it.

The big news of the day is that I have three well-muscled young men in the house doing things for me. If you follow me on FB, which is generally very unrewarding, you’ll know that I’m undergoing a massive and exciting kitchen/downstairs of the house remodel (it’s a very small house). Today is granite day! Pics will come later. I’m keeping out of the way. It will be very spiffy.

And that’s about all that’s going on with me at the moment. Conspicuously short on writing news, you may notice although I’m reading–latest great read was The Private Life of William Shakespeare by Jude Morgan, one of my very favorite writers. What have you read recently and what do you think of the Austen ring auction? If you bought it, what would you do with it?

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Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

I would definitely donate it to the museum at Chawton House. That is where it belongs.

Currently I am finishing up A Social History of Ghosts which has been an absolutely fascinating read! And in fiction I have just started Bronwen Evans Invitation to Ruin.

Burly young men working in one’s house cannot fail to improve the scenery in every way.

Enjoy, Janet!

Jane George
10 years ago

Hope it goes to the museum!

And I DO follow you on FB, yet none of your posts, granite or otherwise, have made it to my feed. Grr on FB these days.

I just read Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, am slowly savoring and drawing out Chime, by Franny Billingsley because I love it so, and I’m picking up both Laura Kinsale’s French Kiss and Mary Balogh’s The Secret Mistress. So all fiction at the mo.’

10 years ago

I’m currently reading SEAL of Honor. Today is the seven-year anniversary Operation Red Wings.

Interesting fact about tomatoes. Of course, it made me wonder if you had been a lawyer, because you tossed out the information and then said ignore, which of course now I can’t. LOL!

I hate the thought of the ring disappearing into a private collection, never to be seen again. It would be lovely if it went to a museum or to someone with a collection they allowed to tour. That would be wonderful.

Elena Greene
10 years ago

I would donate it. Perhaps if I had the means, I’d get a good copy made that I could wear and enjoy.

Good luck with the remodeling, Janet. May it all go smoothly!


[…] know, I feel very strongly about national treasures disappearing into private ownership. I had a minor sort of rant about the possible fate of the ring when it first went on the block. (I’m trying really, […]

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