Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon’s Library
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!