Monday, October 9, 2017

Giveaway of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight

Available on Amazon
It is an honor to host Caroline Jane Knight at More Agreeably Engaged today. I have had the great pleasure of visiting with Caroline on a couple of occasions and found her to be a lovely and personable woman, who is highly intelligent. Not only was it easy to chat with her, she made me feel comfortable. That is a trait that I admire as I will admit to being extremely nervous before our first visit. I mean, she is Jane Austen's fifth great-niece! :)  Caroline immediately put me at ease. Her warmth and caring was evident and her love of family history, strong. She is real and I am privileged to have visited with her. 

The stories Caroline shares of Chawton House and Jane Austen are fascinating! I could listen for hours and not tire of the knowledge gleaned from hearing about the lives of the Austen and Knight families. I felt it a privilege to have Caroline Jane Knight, personally, tell me some of those stories and some of her history. Now she has published a book that tells much more. How wonderful for any Janeite, or any person, for that matter, to learn first hand some of the family traditions that Jane Austen experienced, the books she read, and the family book plates passed down. What a heritage you have, Caroline. Thank you for writing about it and giving us the inside stories that you lived.

Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage is the memoir of Caroline Jane Knight. In it she talks about growing up in Chawton House, her family home. The fame of Jane Austen and her novels also had an effect on Caroline. It changed her life in many ways, one of which was to found The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.  If you are not familiar with it, follow the link and learn about the wonderful things the foundation is doing to spread literacy across the globe. I would think Jane Austen proud of her great-niece. 

I invite you to take a few minutes, get to know Caroline Jane Knight, ask her a question that you would like answered, and take part in her giveaway. It is a special one so be sure to read more about it later on in the post.

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Caroline Jane Knight shares more than Jane Austen’s name and DNA. As a direct descendant of Jane’s brother, Edward Knight, Caroline is the last of the Austen Knight family to grow up at Chawton House on the estate where Jane Austen lived and enjoyed the most productive period of her writing career. Caroline explored the same places around Chawton House and its grounds as Jane did, dined at the same table in the same dining room, read in the same library and shared the same dream of independence.

Caroline’s early life was filled with the delights of living in a sixteenth-century English manor, the good cheer of family gatherings and centuries-old Christmas traditions in the Great Hall of Chawton House, the beauty of a country life, and the joys of helping her Granny bake cakes and serve Jane Austen devotees in the Chawton House tea room. But when she was seventeen, Caroline and her family were forced to leave the home her family had lived in for centuries. Heartbroken, but determined to leave all things Austen behind her, Caroline eventually carved out a highly successful career in business.

Caroline moved to Australia in 2008 to become CEO of DemoPlus, Australia’s largest sampling and demonstration agency. In 2010 Caroline joined the board of Life Education Victoria. In 2012, Caroline was a finalist in the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the same year was made an honourary life fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

But the 2013 bi-centennial celebrations of the publishing of Pride & Prejudice started a chain of events in Caroline’s life that took her back to her roots and inspired her to launch the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation to increase literacy rates in the world’s poorest communities.

Caroline has recently published her memoir Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage to share her memories of Chawton House as her family home and how her fifth great-aunt Jane Austen’s phenomenal rise to global fame has changed her life today.

Caroline now lives in a leafy village on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, dogs and chickens.


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Austen Heritage - Website
Austen Heritage - Facebook (@CarolineJaneKnight)
The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation

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~ 15% of the profits from the sale of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage is donated to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation ~

Audiobook
Purchase a Signed Copy at Austen Heritage




















Thank you, Caroline, for visiting with me and my readers today. I cannot wait to tell them what you have in store for them so guess I will 'get to it'.

Dear Readers, Caroline Jane Knight has kindly suggested that each of you ask her one question. It can be any question...about her new book, her family heritage, Jane Austen, the literacy foundation, or something about Caroline herself. I know she loves dogs, so you can ask her about her dogs! :) What would you like to know? Leave your question in the comments below. You have until Saturday, the 14th of October at 4 P. M. Central Time, to ask your question. At that time, the question session will close. At 4 P. M. Central Time on Sunday, the 15th of October, Caroline will draw the winning question live on her Austen Heritage Facebook page. Once the winning question has been drawn, she will then answer your question live. Won't that be fun?! I think it is pretty neat and I am anxious to know what the winning question will be and hear the answer. The question that is drawn, gets another bonus for the 'asker'! The writer of the chosen question gets a hardback copy of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight and it will be signed by Caroline Jane Knight, personally to the winner. That is so awesome! Thank you, Caroline, for sharing such a fantastic opportunity and giveaway for my readers. I know they appreciate it as much as I do. 

Remember to leave your question in the comments below. Go to Austen Heritage Facebook on Sunday, the 15th of October at 4 PM Central Time, for the live draw and hear the question answered by Caroline Jane Knight. Good luck to each of you. The giveaway is international!

33 comments:

  1. What kind of cakes did you bake with your Granny to serve in the Chawton House Tea room? Would they have been similar to what Jane ate when she was alive?

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    1. Hi Joan. I'm so glad you stopped by. I like your questions and hope we can hear the answer. Good luck in the draw and giveaway.

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  2. What is your favorite dog breed? Do you prefer to adopt from shelters?

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    1. Awww, great question, one after my own heart! Thanks for popping in.

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  3. Had you the opportunity to speak with Jane, what would you say to her?

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    1. I would love to know the answer to that one too. Thanks, Maia.

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  4. I love the quote 'Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure'. What memory of growing up in Chawton House brings you the most joy?

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    1. Hi Claire. That is indeed a good quote. I would love to be able to live by it. I wonder if it would be hard to narrow down what brought Caroline the most joy growing up in Chawton House. Can you imagine being surrounded by all that wonderful tradition and history? Good question! :)

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  5. What Christmas traditions from your English heritage do you try and keep alive in our hot Christmas time here in Australia

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    1. Christmas! That would be a lovely question to be answered. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Hi Janet In september I went from Denmark to England for the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. This year I began the JA days by visiting Chawton, both Jane Austens House Museum and the Great house. It was such a wonderful day, the athmosphere is very special in both houses. When we dressed up in costumes to get photographs, Carolines father Mr. Knight came by, he was so kind,he even posed on our Photos, and it made us feel, a bit closer to Jane :0) I wanted to buy Carolines book, but it wasn't on sale yet, just like the new JA 10 £ note, I was a week too early, it also came out, the week after my visit. So I would LOVE to win the book, and my question for Caroline is: I loved the walled garden at Chawton, it was like a cosy wilderness, with apples hanging all around from the trees, so peacefull and lovely, I didn't want to leave, a great place for escape. Was the garden the same, in your childhood? And did you spend much time there? Did you have a special favourite corner in the garden? Love Mai

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    1. Hi Mai! It is so good to hear from you. I saw some of your pictures during the Jane Austen Festival. You looked lovely in your dress. It looked like you were having a marvelous time. That is so neat that Caroline's father posed with you for photographs. What an awesome experience. I bet it made you feel special! :) That is a shame to have missed both things by one week. I hope you will be able to get the £10 note soon. Good luck with the giveaway for the book. A signed hardbook personally to you would be a fabulous thing to win.

      I'm so glad you stopped by Mai. It is always good to hear from you. I love your question to Caroline. I would like to know the answer to that one too. Gardens are so lovely.

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  7. Hi Caroline,My name is Elizabeth and I'm from Australia. Did your parents know about their heritage even before you were born and is that why they named you Caroline Jane?

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    1. Hi Elizabeth. I'm so glad you popped in and asked a question. Thank you for visiting and good luck.

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    1. Good to hear, Denise. Do you want to ask a question? You just might be the lucky winner of the book and get your questions answered.

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  9. Hello Caroline, do you think Jane Austen would be inspired to write if she lived in our busy time?

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    1. Good question! I hope she would be inspired to write.

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  10. Was Chawton House open for tours while you lived there?

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    1. Another good question...thanks, Eva.

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  11. What an honour Janet to meet with Caroline. My question to you Caroline is there a special place at Chawton (inside/outside) that Jane loved most?

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  12. It has been an honor, Carole. She is a neat lady!

    I like your question, too! Thanks for dropping by.

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  13. Janet,

    I must echo Carole's sentiments and say what an honour and pleasure it must have been to meet and speak with Caroline!

    My question for Caroline is-
    If Jane had an opportunity to relive her life, what changes,if any,do you think she would make in terms of her personal life and her pursuit of a writing career? Would she leave all as it was or grasp a chance of marriage and motherhood,fully aware that her time on earth was of a short duration?

    Thanks to all concerned for this lovely post!

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  14. It has been an honor, Mary. Reading from her book about her heritage and growing up in Chawton House is the next best thing to having her talk about it herself. Good luck in the giveaway. Your question is a good one.

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  15. When and how did you become aware of your heritage? I love searching my family tree. I have found some interesting things but I can not imagine finding out I was related to someone as influential as your Great Aunt.

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    1. Glad you stopped by, Sagan. Thanks for asking your question.

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  16. I don't think Caroline has answered my question before when it was asked at Just Jane 1813. Here it is: Would you consider buying back Chawton Great House if you have the resources? Or would you rather leave it as it is?

    Janet, thank you for giving me another chance to get to know Caroline.

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    1. Good question, Sylvia. It would be great to know the answer. Glad you stopped by.

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  17. As someone who has never been to England (a fact which must be remedied soon) I have this idyllic picture of Chawton in my head. What are some of your family's favorite details about the house, that you are sentimental about?

    Thank you for visiting with us, Caroline!

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    1. Great question, Nicole. Thanks for dropping by.

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  18. Were there any ghosts at Chawton, and did you ever experience one? If so, would you tell us about it?

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