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    Posted September 12, 2012 by
    Tidewater, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nerd pilgrimages

    On the Jane Austen Trail


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     A fan of "Pride and Prejudice," TeresaAF says as she got older, she discovered that Jane Austen was far more than that one book. "Jane Austen was so ahead of her time, and as I matured I was able to appreciate the fact that everything about her writing wasn't necessarily about happy endings," she says.
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    It began, as these things generally do, with a love story called Pride and Prejudice. We all read it in high school, some of us trudging through it reluctantly and others of us devouring it eagerly, turning the pages in anticipation of what was to come next, and all the time wondering how we ever survived to our sixteenth year without this wonderfully romantic tale in our lives.


    Then, once the story is over, you know yourself to be impossibly in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet or Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. But then you grow up just a bit more, and suddenly you realize that it wasn't the characters that so captivated your thoughts, but rather, it was the author who created them who you were in love with all along. With images of quaint country villages and quixotic literary notions floating in my head, I set off this past winter to discover the real world of Jane Austen.


    The trail began from the home of Jane's brother, Henry Austen's house in the Kensington section of London, then on to the holy grail of all Jane Austen sites: Chawton Cottage in Hampshire, England. And lastly the trail ended at Jane's final resting place, Winchester Cathedral, Winchester.

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