We shall see, in the next month or two, if an article I wrote for JASNA-News, the bulletin of the Jane Austen Society of North America, gets published. Otherwise, you may hear about my visit, last May, here on Two Teens. Meanwhile, I invite readers to VERSAILLES TO VICTORIA, a fabulous website talking about architecture & history of “Beautiful places”. Like: Tring Park!
Readers hopefully remember that one of the estates Emma Austen knew as a girl, and lived in as a new wife and mother was Tring – the former home of her great uncle Drummond Smith. Tring has a special “Austen” connection, in that it was in the little parish church that Emma married James Edward Austen. And their first children took their first steps in the rooms of the mansion. A recent “find” among letters is one that pointed out the return of Mamma and Maria (Emma’s mother and youngest sister), in a trip of Mary 1835. The family had moved to Mapledurham in October of 1834! Yet here was a couple of people – and a couple of letters – talking about missing their former home.
And now you can see more the place they so reluctantly left.
By 1835, Edward (pictured above) and Emma had moved into their own home. It is from this point that Emma – MY main source for information on her siblings – begins to have her own topics of conversation. Edward’s ill health, the illnesses of her children, the pregnancies of herself and four of her sisters. Edward felt the “Tring Years” to have been special; and _I_ firmly agree! With Charles and Mary off on their own at Suttons, it was everyone else hanging out together at Tring.
TRING was also the beginning of this research project! The above diary entry (belonging to Mary Smith, Emma’s sister-in-law) was the first inkling I had that Mary’s family included Austen family members. Click on the entry to enter the World of Tring Park.