JANE AUSTEN: Great Houses and Gardens, July 14 - July 25, 1998
JASNA’s second tour visited Jane Austen’s England July 14-25, 1998, and included twelve of the fifteen highest-rated events of the 1997 itinerary, plus several exciting new features.
“Jane Austen: Great Houses and Gardens” took tour members to the British Jane Austen Society’s Annual General Meeting at Chawton on July 18, to the Prince Regent’s Royal Pavilion at Brighton, and on a cruise from Southampton to Netley Abbey.
Mary Lou White of Book Adventures, who achieved a 93% satisfaction rate from JASNA travelers in 1997, designed the itinerary to explore Jane Austen's life and writings with two focuses: the interiors and exteriors of country houses, from cottage orné to stately mansion, and the historic changes in gardens during Austen’s era. The luxury air-conditioned bus was routed to all places Austen lived and most she visited.
Elizabeth Proudman, the guide who received a 100% satisfaction rating in 1997, accompanied JASNA’s group. Her dazzling knowledge of Jane Austen’s life and work is reportedly equaled, and possibly surpassed, by her understanding of landscape gardening.
Original Austen manuscripts and letters were made available for examination at the British Library. Other London options were a theater party, a visit to Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens, and a viewing of landscape paintings at the Tate Gallery. Besides Chawton, the JASNA tour returned to St Nicholas Church-Steventon, Godmersham Park, Ibthorpe House, Mapperton House and Gardens, 4 Sydney Place and the Royal Crescent in Bath, the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, and Winchester Cathedral. New stops included Houghton Lodge, Rowling House, Chilham Castle Gardens, and Blaise Castle.