[The lovely image for the website was created by Jessica Irene Joyce – jessicairenejoyce.com]
The Reading with Austen website is a re-creation of the Library of Godmersham Park, the estate of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight. This virtual library is based on an extant handwritten catalogue from 1818 that lists all the books in his collection and their exact locations on his shelves. Here you can explore the Library as Jane Austen might have seen it on her many visits to the Godmersham estate. On the website you will be able to browse photographs of and bibliographic information for the very editions she may have handled.
You can read the history of the project, spearheaded by Professor Peter Sabor of McGill University on the website and on the pages on this blog (see the sidebar]. The first post on this blog gives a brief history and explanation of what we continue to search for and how you can help us.
In this effort to locate the many books still missing from this original Godmersham collection, a group of scholars, researchers, bibliophiles, and interested people has been created – we call ourselves The Godmersham Lost Sheep Society – GLOSS – and invite any and all of you to join us in this search.
On this blog, I will be posting some of the books we have found and returned to the Library at Chawton House, where the remaining titles from the original library now reside (in the Knight Collection and still owned by Austen’s descendant). And I will also post about the books we have found but are beyond our pocketbooks, those that we have found in institutions, and those 500 or so remaining titles we are still actively looking for.
Please follow us in this journey and help us in our quest to return as many of these books to the fold – you too can become an official GLOSSer!