Day 14: A Day with Anne Hathaway

Today as we were waiting for the bus to come the bus stop was in the end of a triathlon. As the wait lasted longer and longer we began to cheer for the passing bikers. One of the bikers did a one hand bow while still riding on as a thanks, another did a double fist pump into the air.


Once the bus came, the class was sad to leave the bus stop so we couldn’t cheer on the remaining bikers. Which we found out that it was the final leg by some lovely people on the bus who all got a nice laugh from watching us cheer while Dr Clark paid for our tickets.

We took the bus to Anne Hathaway’s cottage and birthplace. Anne didn’t own it once she was married so the name is a little misleading but she still lived there. When she was married to William Shakespeare she was three months pregnant and yet was still one of the better options for Shakespeare to marry. They were married for thirty-four years. The people who worked in the home weren’t sure if the marriage was one of love or not because in Shakespeare’s will Hathaway only got the second best bed. And at the time, the widow got a third of the land even if it wasn’t written in the will. Today the will is considered the third most important document, sadly this is kept in a library in London so I was not able to get a picture in it.

The house itself was lived in by Hathaway’s descendants until 1811 when the family wasn’t doing as well and had to sell most of their land. The house had many extensions after Anne’s life but in 1830 the house was sold.  Sixty-two years later the Shakespeare Trust was created and bought the house and the land.



The garden that is connected with the house was abousultly stunning, and it’s where Chanelle and Courtney became “engaged” These are their engagement photos:

IMG_4445 IMG_4447 IMG_4448After they became engaged we went off on a walk through the woods and found a cat whom I named Cheeky because she would pose perfectly for a picture and then look away at the last second. So I called her a cheeky devil. Gretchen picked her up and then she ran away but started following us and eventually let me pet her once the others were far enough away. Cheeky followed me out of the woods and then hopped up onto a table to be petted once more. It took me about a total of 20 tries to get a decent picture of Cheeky.

IMG_4541She followed me to the meeting place that Dr Clark had decided on and harassed both her and Jessica because she knew they didn’t want to pet her. The cat decided to sit right between them. Once everyone was at the meeting spot we left the house and went to Sainsbury’s for a quick pick up dinner and headed for the hostel on the bus. When we got the hostel, the rest of the day for us was free.

Today was a nice and slow day, but I can’t wait for the day tomorrow and to see the Roaring Girl.
Nicole Lettau


Day 10, Part 2

After we visited the house in which Jane Austin died, we walked around the corner and up a block or two to the Winchester Cathedral. Inside the beautiful Cathedral we had a tour based on Jane Austen’s life which was lead by the wonderful Pat. 


Pat started the tour with the great window is a remake of the first one which was smashed during Oliver Cromwell’s reign. Since they had just smashed the window and then left it alone there still was pieces of the wonderful stained glass caught in the outer parts of it. This glass was taken and melted down to be reused in the current window. IMG_3999

Pat then started her tour with announcing that it is the 200th year anniversary of Austen’s Mansfield Park first printing.The first edition of this book sold out, which prompted another edition which didn’t sell as many copies. Often one of the things which are over looked with that work is that Mansfield was a Lord who had decreed that any man with feet to be standing on English soil and breathing English air is to be considered a free man. Lord Mansfield had said this because of a slave had slipped off of his ship which was docked in England at the time, and the Captain of the ship and the slave master was trying to get the man back which this law had foiled the efforts.

Pat also spoke of the printing order of Austen’s books. She said that both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice where published by Eddington. Sense and Sensibility was first published under the name of: A Lady Author. She also said that Pride and Prejudice was originally titled First Impressions, which only the title was looked at before it was tossed aside and deemed unworthy. When the book was published it was published in two different parts.

Pat then stopped her tour so we could have a look at a handwritten parchment of Austen’s along with being able to see the Winchester Bible. Both of which were rare, the Bible is rare in the fact that it was still at the Cathedral. Most of the Bibles that do belong to Cathedrals are kept in an university museum in London for security and preservation reasons. In the room just across from this there was a library which belonged to Bishop Marley. This library held about 2000 books, at one point there was even more but those were either stolen or burned or simply lost. Sadly there was a ban on taking pictures so is no photographed proof that any of this actually happened, you’ll just have to take my word on it. But there was a statue in the museum just a floor above all of this which had the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus who was beheaded. Mary herself is missing most of the crown she was wearing and her nose has been chipped away at.



Pat ended her tour by showing us Austen’s grave and resting cite along with a plaque that was later installed by her brother James. James also was the one who had created the engravings on the headstone. She said at the time it was unknown what she was dying from, but it was reported that it involved having coloured skin. Currently the most believed theory of what Austen’s was suffering from Leukemia.

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After the tour was done we had a few minutes to go about the Cathedral by ourselves. I returned to the museum. It was said that the way the window was broken was by taking dead King’s bones from their boxes and used to smash it. The bones were then tossed into which ever box the men wanted to throw them in. Bones were often mixed up, arms would be mixed with legs and rib bones from various kings. Upon finding the boxes, scientists are now trying to piece the bones back with the others they belong with and are being used to figure out which King exactly they belong to.

Queen Mary Tutor was married in the Winchester Cathedral. During her wedding she didn’t want to stand up so the church provided a chair for her to sit in while the wedding was going on. Besides that, parts of the Cathedral was built on unstable, mosh-y ground. This has caused the walls to lean to one side or the other. In the beginning of the 20th century, a diver was sent below and fixed the foundation of what he could to try and stabilize the building.

After this, there was the train ride back to the hostel. It was a fun day, I hope to have more like it.

Nicole Lettau