We are very much looking forward to hearing all about
.Jane Austen and Adlestrop – her other family
from Victoria Huxley, who has researched and then published on this very topic
Uncovering such a prestigious literary connection to the village one has moved to is every – or at least this – local historian’s dream scenario!
Victoria’s talk is part of a year of talks based loosely around the theme of “prominent women.” As such it is very appropriate that the “other family” we will be learning about is that of Jane’s Mother’s, the Leighs.
The new Mrs Austen, according to one biographer anyway, spent her first few years as vicar’s wife and mother, rushing around getting things done, in a scarlet riding habit. (An example is preserved in the V&A; it is believed to date from c1770.) I think this may be an example of realistic common sense: the habit may have been a legacy from a more genteel upbringing, but must also have been among the toughest & hard wearing, & least restrictive of garments at her disposal. If worn at the length of the example, she might have been able to dodge the shame of 6 inches of muddy petticoat.
The talk will begin at 7.30pm in Iffley Church Hall, Church Way. Visitors are very welcome, but will be asked to contribute £2 towards expenses.