Reading With Jane Austen

Every now and again, I need a little dose of culture.

lr20160209_122016So recently, I left the comforts of my suburban home and drove down to the Minneapolis Institute of Art to see their new exhibit, Jane Austen’s Reading Room (its curator is a fellow member of my local chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America). This room, along with the Georgian Drawing Room, are part of the museum’s “living rooms,” historic interiors that illustrate how people lived in a particular place and time. The Reading Room was loosely inspired by the library in Chawton House, the home of Jane Austen’s wealthy brother, Edward. The room showcases books Jane Austen read in her lifetime, as well as copies of first editions of several of her books.


First Editions of Emma by Jane Austen.

lr20160209_121700The adjoining Georgian Drawing Room has been altered to recreate a scene from her novel, Emma, which celebrated its 200th birthday in December of 2015.

I attended with author-friend, Michelle Griep, who is so much fun to hang out with and who also writes novels set in the Regency era.

Interestingly enough, we ran into yet a third Regency era novelist (Candice Hern) there, and she gave us further insights into the period rooms and her favorite pieces.


With Candice Hern & Michelle Griep

We also joined an “Inspired by Books” tour during which a museum guide pointed out paintings that relate to the novel, Emma.


Afterward, Michelle and I enjoyed lunch and conversation together as only kindred spirits can. I left the museum

that day  feeling a little richer for the dose of culture, seasoned with sweet friendship and savory conversation.

How about you? When was the last time you visited a museum or other “cultural” place or event?

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