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Monday, May 31

Welcome to the Jane Austen Today Team, Tony!

Inquiring Readers,

This week I welcome Tony Grant from London Calling as a new member of the Jane Austen Today team. As you know, several months ago Raquel Sallaberry from Jane Austen em Português joined the team. You will now be receiving news about Jane Austen and her life from a British male, a Brazilian translator of Jane Austen's works, and me, an American Janeite transplanted from The Netherlands - a truly international group of Jane Austen fans.

Tony has already proved himself to be a valuable addition. Yesterday he reminded me politely that while the interiors of Pride and Prejudice were shot in Wilton House, the exterior shot was of Chatsworth. My bad. I immediately set out to correct the mistake. Here is Tony's shot of Wilton House. Isn't it lovely?

I asked our new colleague to introduce himself to you, which sits below. After reading this, please visit his blog. Click here to read about his visit to Chawton. It is quite informative and, even better, his photographs are lovely. Tony lives in Jane Austen country and arranges tours. (I am trying to reign in my envy.)

Here then, is Tony's biography:

My name is Tony Grant and Vic has very kindly asked me to write a regular article for her great BLOG, Jane Austen Today.

I live in the Borough of Merton which includes Wimbledon and a great chunk of South London.

My wife, Marilyn and I have lived here for many years since we gaduated from teachers training college in Kingston upon Thames in the 1970's. We have four children, Sam 23, Alice 20, Emily 17 and Abigail 9.

Marilyn works full time as a teacher for Kingston.She is responsible for developing the curriculum for traveller children in her area and also leads the Commenius Project for Kingston. This project creates links with schools in Eastern Europe and Germany. She often goes on visits to schools in Germany and Estonia.She also hosts visits for teachers from those countries coming here.In Estonia, she is helping them develop strategies to integrate Russian children into their schools. There are deep routed ethnic problems between Estonians and Russians.

I am now partly retired from teaching. I do some supply teaching but I also work as a freelance tour guide for a Canadian company called Tours by Locals.

I lead tours of the South of England for family and friendship groups. Many of the tours are tailor made to peoples personal requirements.

I was born in Southampton. From an early age my grandmother made me aware of Jane Austen. It was my grandmother who showed me the site in Castle Square where Jane lived for two years. On visits to Winchester my grandmother also showed me the house where Jane died and her tomb in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral.

I read my first Jane Austen novel, Mansfield Park, when I was doing my Batchelor of Arts degree in the early 1970's.The detailed interplay of relationships, setting and action I found intensely interesting. I later developed my interst in investigating and exploring the past when I did a masters degree at the Institute of Education, London University.

Having been born and brought up in Southampton, Hampshire, and now living in North Surrey, I have been able to visit, over the years many of the places Jane mentions in her letters and uses in her novels. I live very close to some of those places.

I have my own BLOG, London Calling, in which I discuss ideas and places to do with Jane. My BLOG also allows me to present one of my other passions photography. I have photographed many Jane Austen sites.

I am looking forward to writing articles for Jane Austen Today and I would love to receive your responses.


Meredith R. said...

Welcome Tony. I am a frequent visitor to the blog and look forward to your contributions!

Raquel said...

Welcome Tony!

ChaChaneen said...

Welcome to our Jane world! It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm a long time fan of Vic's blog and look forward to your upcoming posts! Have a great week!

Marilyn Brant said...

Welcome, Tony! Looking forward to reading your posts ;).

Olivia said...

Looking forward to reading Tony's articles! I've just visited his blog and his photos are beautiful.

Southerner said...

Thank you for all your kind and welcoming comments.

All the best,