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Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon’s Library

March 4, 2012

Last October the Museum participated in The Big Draw event, which is organised annually by the Campaign for Drawing, an independent charity whose aim is to raise the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.

The theme chosen by the Museum for this year’s project was Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon’s Library. Visitors to the museum – of all ages-  were asked to imagine what books this literary couple’s library might contain shortly after their marriage has taken place at the end of Sense and Sensibility. They were asked to create book spines for the books they thought might be found in their combined library at Delaford. The ‘spines’ were then mounted on “library shelves” in a display at the Museum’s learning centre: one side for books thought appropriate for Marianne, one side for the Colonel. The results were fascinating, many containing puns and word play which would no doubt have been appreciated by Jane Austen and her family, who were all adept at riddles and charades.

We thought you might like to see the end result, and some close-ups of the “spines” which visitors to the Museum can also see, as it is on display in the Learning Centre every day the Museum is open to the public.

Elegant Economy by the appropriately named “Arthur Crown” may have been a gift to her from Marianne’s ever-practical sister, Elinor …

The good Colonel might have sympathised with the sentiments expressed in Stop the Cavalry by A. Horse, and we trust he would not take the advice for taming a spouse in this particular edition of The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare.

We wonder who is the real author of Love Poems to Read to Your Wife…is A Married Lady a clue? And the author of Anna Gram (Letters of Mystery) must surely feel at home here at Chawton. Whilst the Barton D.I.Y ( Do it Yourself) Manual must have been a very well-thumbed book…

The Colonel would surely have understood the sentiments in Duels and Duets.

And we wonder if Murder at Chawton by Will Hang might have been more appropriate for Catherine Morland and her love of horrid books!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2012 7:21 pm

    What a lovely project!
    And I think Marianne would read Duels and Duets with heavy heart…

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      March 4, 2012 7:32 pm

      Thank you, Raquel. Very probably, Colonel Brandon would sigh inwardly if he could read that book’s title too….

  2. Cathy Allen permalink
    March 5, 2012 12:37 am

    That was a lot of fun to see; very imaginative artists! Thank you.

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      March 7, 2012 10:38 am

      Yes, some of the “books” were very creative indeed!

  3. Karen Field permalink
    March 5, 2012 3:55 am

    What a neat project! How many of the responses were from children? I love this idea!

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      March 7, 2012 10:39 am

      Quite a lot of them were-as you can probably tell from the artwork 😉 It was a great idea and very inspirational. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Karen.

  4. March 6, 2012 1:05 am

    love this and loved my visit a few years ago to her home , would love to have spent longer.
    big fan of Jane Austin

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      March 7, 2012 10:40 am

      We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit. And that you liked the project- which was great fun. Will you ever get the chance to come back, do you think? We do hope so, in the meantime you can always keep in tough with us via the website or here :).

  5. March 9, 2012 12:05 pm

    Such a nice project Julie! I wish I could be there to see it! Last January I visited the Museum and I was amazed by this space! Of course my daughter, Isabella, played with some puzzles! 🙂

    Thanks Julie for updating precious information here!

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      March 11, 2012 1:19 pm

      It is a really fascinating project: such imaginative titles! Ah! The games and Puzzles! More on them to come! We are so glad your daughter liked them. And so glad you visited in January!

  6. March 17, 2012 5:08 am

    This is original and fun looking. Yes, drawing could use a comeback, and this is a perfect way of getting it happening. Really lovely to see.

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