…for The Sunday Muse
It was a lovely service. Most of the congregation had departed, and the cathedral which minutes earlier had resounded with the glorious sound of the choir and the strident cords of an organ was silent but for my echoing footsteps, and the distant giggling of the youthful choristers as they escaped into the autumn sunshine.
It was then I saw it. There on the stone floor, swathed in a palette of colour from a nearby stained glass window was a marble slab dedicated to Jane Austen. It felt disrespectful to step upon it knowing she lay beneath!
I stopped to read the inscription. The sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind obtained the regard of all who knew her, it said.
Did you know she was just forty-one years old when she passed away? That seems so unfair when she still had so much more to give. She wasn’t even spared to finish her final story, Sanditon. It was completed by ‘another lady’.
I’ve seen a movie or two based on her work but never actually read a book so the next day I went to the library a took a copy of Pride and Prejudice from the shelf. Romance isn’t a genre I normally go for, I’m more of a murder and mayhem kinda’ guy but I was totally immersed in her tale. I even tried to imagine myself as Fitzwilliam Darcy!
I stopped reading for a moment to reflect upon the young lady that wrote the words that so effortlessly drew me in, and as I did so, the pages became awash with a rainbow of colour as a shaft of sunlight bounced from a shiny steel panel to my side.
Gone but never to be forgotten.
Thanks to Carrie for hosting.
Jane Austen’s final resting place is in Winchester Cathedral.
Image: “See the Light” by Giulio Bernadi.