Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen’s House Museum

Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen’s House Museum

Chawton Cottage, now known as Jane Austen’s House Museum, might be the single most significant Jane Austen site in the world, but the symbolic value of this modest abode goes far beyond bricks and mortar. Sometimes a house is not only a home, this little cottage also changed Jane’s life. 

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Armchair Books, Edinburgh

Armchair Books, Edinburgh

There are a multitude of reasons why Edinburgh was crowned the first UNESCO City of Literature, from the exceptional libraries, quirky independent bookshops, and illustrious literary history, the Scottish capital is a wonderland for bibliophiles. Edinburgh has inspired the backdrop of many stories, so it’s no surprise that this city is also teeming with top notch literary haunts.

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Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

In the pretty riverside town of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, the most northerly city in the United Kingdom, you will find the iconic Leakey’s Bookshop. This one of a kind shop is literally an old Gaelic church filled floor to ceiling with beautiful books.

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The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The first stop on my little Jane Austen road trip was Bath, where Jane lived between 1801 and 1806, and set two novels, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. The problematic nature of being a woman in Regency England was that you had to marry to secure your future. Jane Austen wove this predicament into her novels, implying ever so gently that this was utter nonsense.

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John Sandoe Books, London

John Sandoe Books, London

Tucked away on a quiet street off Chelsea’s bustling Kings Road, is a wonderful independent bookshop, John Sandoe Books. The bookshop remains in the original location on Blacklands Terrace where John Sandoe first set up shop, now spanning three side by side stores acquired over fifty years.

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Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co is an independent English language bookshop that has hosted a myriad of creatives over the past seventy years as the inadvertent home of the Anglo-American literary community in Paris. A treasure trove of coloured spines, velvet chairs, and wall to wall shelves with books squeezed into every possible nook and cranny.

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State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

Once upon a chilly Sunday morning, the call of a million books drew me out of bed to the State Library of Victoria. The middle of autumn is my favourite time in Melbourne, crisp air fills your lungs, the parks are a glittering shade of gold, the aroma of freshly ground coffee floats through the air, and an abundance of pink camellias are in full bloom.

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Word on the Water, London Book Barge

Word on the Water, London Book Barge

A once wandering 1920’s barge has taken up permanent residence along York Way on London’s Granary Square, just a short walk from Kings Cross and the British Library. Yet, this is no ordinary passenger barge, it’s a floating bookshop called Word on the Water – a trove of new and pre-loved books stacked amidst a funky bohemian ambience.

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State Library of South Australia

State Library of South Australia

Who knew that the pretty South Australian city of Adelaide was hiding such a gorgeous library? I had no idea, and what a very special discovery it was. I just happened to be perusing one of those Top 20 Most Beautiful Libraries articles and the State Library of South Australia was there on the list.

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