Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that today is the 200th anniversary of  the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The house where Jane Austen lived with her mother and sister for the last years of her life is in Chawton, Hampshire and is now the Jane Austen House Museum. The tiny writing table where she redrafted her manuscripts for Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and where she wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion has pride of place in the front parlour of this charming 17th century cottage. As you step through the door you are immersed in Jane Austen's world with its family portraits, 18th century style wallpapers, personal effects such as letters and jewellery, and dresses - it is as if she has just left the room.

Look round the house and soak up the atmosphere before stepping out, as she frequently did, and walk down past St Nicholas's church to see the graves of her mother and sister (Jane Austen is buried at Winchester Cathedral). Carry on to the Rose and Crown pub in Upper Farringdon, converted from alms houses in 1810 by Jane's brother, Edward. It's a three mile loop back to Jane Austen's house: a perfect walk for a sunny spring day. The walk is detailed in Adventure Walks for Families In and Around London, chapter  25. 

Let it Snow

We thought we'd put up some of our favourite snowy children's story books to curl up and read by the fire this weekend...

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder 

The sixth in the Little House on the Prairie series, set in the severe winter of 1881 in South Dakota when Laura turns 14 years old.

The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable

A story of princesses, winter palaces, howling wolves and lost diamonds, set in the deep snows of Russia.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Where winter comes to haunt a garden owned by a cruel Giant who forbids children from playing in it. 

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The tragic frontier story of a dog who works on the sleds in the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1897.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats 

One of the most charming of all children's picture books where a small boy explores his neighbourhood transformed by snow

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater

In the cold of winter, a boy called Sam turns into a black wolf and roams the forests of Minnesota.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Who can forget the world of Narnia, the White Witch, the lamppost, Mr Tumnus and the land where Father Christmas does not come.  

The Snow Spider Trilogy by Jenny Nimmo

The award winning trilogy: a story of Gwyn's battle against evil in a world of ice and snow.

Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson

While the rest of the Moomin family are deep in the slumber of their winter hibernation, Moomintroll finds himself awake and discovers a world where the sun does not rise and the ground is covered in cold, white, wet powder.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

The opening scenes of this classic historical story are set in the snowy woods of Willoughby Chase. 

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