"The piano sat at the end of the room opposite the window and as large as the room was, it only took a few steps to reach the small but lovely instrument she had purchased especially for the Cottage after moving to Chawton. Cassie often told people that music was her sister's true passion, a natural talent but the truth was that Jane simply believed something worth doing was worth doing well. To that end she practiced on the pianoforte daily, using one of the books into which she had carefully copied music she particularly enjoyed. Completing her regular hour of playing, Jane slipped the music book into the bookcase." Yours affectionately, Jane Austen
"The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance." Sense and Sensibility, 1811
a tip of the hat to
for the sheet music and their invaluable assistance.
The writing table and quill
Jane likely used perfecting
and writing her novels.
It is believed that Jane wrote in the dining room of Chawton Cottage where a squeaky hinge on the door would alert her to someone coming into the room. She preferred that no one know what she was working on so kept her writing secreted away when she was not working on it and hid it if someone approached while she was. She used small pieces of paper for ease of hiding.
Yes, yes, we will have a pianoforte, as good a one as can be got for 30 guineas, and I will practice country dances, that we may have some amusement for our nephews and nieces, when we have the pleasure of their company.
Letter to Cassandra, 27 December 1808
As the dining parlor on this site is filled with recipes the drawing room will be used as her work space, where she worked on her books, played the piano and wrote letters.
The Perigodine copied into Book2 by Jane.
One of the pieces Jane likely played was
Paisiello's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F. Major: allegro
Based on a metrical tale called
William the Sailor's Adieu, Jane may
well have played and sung this song.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Pride and Prejudice, 1813
"About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park..." Mansfield Park, 1814
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence..." Emma, 1815
"Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage." 1817 Persuasion,
"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine." Northanger Abbey, 1817
Clementi piano forte which represents
the instrument Jane bought for the
drawing room at Chawton Cottage