In the footsteps of Jane Austen

Lately the pressure of assignments and deadlines had got the better of me, so my friend and I decided to have a day out. And what better place to chose for two aspiring writers than the home of Jane Austen were she produced some of her best known work. She had lived in the village of Chawton near Winchester from 1809 to 1817. When her health declined she moved to Winchester to be closer to her doctor, where she later died. It was a really great experience to see where she wrote and what her daily life must have looked like. The small round table in the picture above was the table she wrote on nearly every morning. She wrote with a quill and ink. in one of the rooms of the house there was table with ink and paper for visitors to try out what it feels like to write with a quill. My friend and I came to the realisation that we are very lucky to be able to write on a laptop nowadays. Writing whole books with a quill must have been incredibly laborious and strenuous on the wrist. I tried to write a few lines but I found that I was used to write certain letters in a certain way. For example the lower ‘e’ was really hard to form with the quill. I can also see that writing in such a way was time consuming. I can only imagine that Jane Austen must have thought very carefully about which words to put down on the page. Each sentence crafted very carefully. No ink wasted.

It is so easy today to just write things, ideas down and then later erase them or move them around or delete them. especially in emails we often write something in haste and don’t really chose our words carefully. and then we just press send and more often than not it leads to upset or misunderstanding. WhatsApp or snapchat are even worst. Words and sentences are written in a hurry to get a point across fast. Writers are often called wordsmiths. I like that. I think of a silversmith and how carefully they make jewellery and a wordsmith constructs sentences or even whole books in a very careful manor. I am guilty of writing things down in a hurry and sending a quick email here and there or a quick snappy WhatsApp message. Writing with a quill has reminded me to take time with writing. Think carefully about what I want to actually say and which words to chose. I forgot who said that words can be mightier than a sword, but he was right.

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