By Anna Mercer
Here is part II of the essay ‘Every Cloud: How Art and Literature Benefited from a Year Without Summer’ by Eleanor Fitzsimons. This is part of the ongoing ‘On This Day’ series celebrating the literary and historical events from 1816 in 2016 (if you missed part I, you can read it here).
If you want to contribute to the ‘On This Day’ series with a post on literary/historical events in 1816, please contact Anna Mercer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
EVERY CLOUD: HOW ART AND LITERATURE BENEFITED FROM A YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER
Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen, pencil and watercolour, circa 1810. National Portrait Gallery
The English novelist Jane Austen spent the summer of 1816 in the village of Chawton in Hampshire, where she shared a cottage with her sister Cassandra, her chronically ill mother and an assortment of nieces and nephews. In a letter to her niece Anna, written on June 23, 1816, Austen described how their neighbor Mrs. Digweed had been soaked to the skin by a rain shower she characterized as ‘beyond everything’. The appalling weather kept the author indoors: ‘Oh! It rains again; it beats against the window’, she told her nephew Edward, adding, ‘such weather gives one …read more