Report on “A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy” at the Morgan Library


We paid a visit to the Morgan Library last weekend to see the current exhibition, “A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy.” To say that it is Janeite heaven is not as hyperbolic as one might think. The artifacts on display were things we had heard of, or only seen in facsimile: The backwards letter! The letter with the lace drawing! The letter from James Stanier Clarke (who had really sloppy handwriting, by the bye)! The Plan of a Novel! The letter from Cassandra to Fanny Knight after Jane’s death (yes, we cried a little)!

Short version: if you call yourself a Janeite and are anywhere in the vicinity of New York or can get there by March 14, go. Just go. You will not be sorry.

When one enters the exhibit room, there is almost a feeling of: is this it? This one little room with a few things hung about and in cases is what we were so excited about? Just this one not-very-large room? But oh, the riches within. By the time we were through it, we felt gorged on good things. We took lots of notes (so many that we think we made the security guards nervous) and have much to report. Continue reading