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Portrait of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra, in watercolour and pencil. Photo Credit: © Ingrid M Wallenborg.

Jane Austen Goes To London

Although born in the Hampshire village of Steventon, the author of novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility had many reasons to visit London during her life. In fact, many of the sites Jane Austen visited served as direct inspiration for descriptions of fashionable neighbourhoods where characters such as Mrs Jennings from Sense and Sensibility live.

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Parker Drawing Office & International Garden Cities Exhibition, Letchworth © Alex Hetherington.

Letchworth Garden City & Hampstead Garden Suburb

Half an hour’s journey out of London’s King’s Cross train station on the line towards Cambridge gets you to the world’s first garden city, Letchworth. A new town designed on visionary principles 100 years ago, it is now a delightful time bubble and a showcase of the Arts and Crafts architectural style. There haven’t been many garden cities since, but Letchworth’s influence on urban planning around the world has been immense.

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Steve on the roof on Chisenhale Road, Bow, East London. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The View From My Roof: Window Currently Not Available

I would very much like to continue gazing out my window – front or back – but the views are, well, fairly restricted at the moment. Scaffolding has edged up to the top floor to the north and the south. Someone had the bright idea of using this time to have the window frames and the masonry painted, the rain-ravaged cills repaired. Oh, that was me? Ooops, never mind. With Carole King belting out at the mic, I go Up on the Roof.

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