Saturday, 19 November 2016

A Visit to the Tomb of Jane Austen

Have you had any great spiritual moments connected with your love of literature? Let me share mine with you.

I had the good fortune to be offered a day's work in Winchester on Tuesday 24 January, 1995. I awoke very early in The Moat House Hotel - long before breakfast. So, as the sun began to rise, I strolled down to the Cathedral. To my surprise, a door was open. I let myself in. There seemed to be no other living human being inside.
I walked with quiet, reverent steps - as you do in such a building and at such a time - to the North Aisle. There I stood by Jane Austen's grave. It was strangely thrilling to find myself alone - for one brief moment of my life - with the lady who had contributed so much to human happiness - certainly to mine. I stood for a few minutes in the vast silence and stillness of that wonderful building and said a little 'thank you' to her. It is a memory I treasure.