In fact , Jane Austen had six Brothers but only one interests me- Henry.1771-1850.
Today he is buried in a small 3 acre site - not much visited , but a haven of protectionism surrounded by eminient Victorians such as Charles Tatteshall Dodd and Joshua Bell and really he should be more celebrated, revered and visited . This whole Cemetary should.http://www.fwpc.org.uk/
What a life he must have had, eclipsed by his famous sister and indeed if not for her he would just be another name on a gravestone in this mortuary garden . But no -he is Jane Austen's brother and was an important part of her life. She has moulded literature so much so his part needs to be recognised and celebrated.
But before I am carried away with the emotion of the event . I wanted to feel the spirit of the place.
This is an amazing oasis, filled with history and imagery on a small scale. No, it cannot equale Highgate with its structures, but its residents are magnificent and deserve attention, especially the number of young children who never had the chance to achieve their potential,but are buried with the great and good in such a small place.
I am looking forward to re- meeting the Dashwood sisters and exploring their loves and heartaches within the larger social context. These editions from Penguin are so beautiful I may need to purchase some more- and a new bookcase!
In parting words from a traditional British song, sung by the Gravelly Graveyard group, I am proud that my town- Tunbridge Wells , has such a literary connection.
Fare thee well, for I must leave thee
Do not let the parting grieve thee,And remember that the best of friends must part,must part.
Adieu, kind friends,adieu,adieu,adieu
I can no longer stay with you, stay with you,
I must hang my harp on a weeping willow tree
And may the world go well with thee