36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Block 29: Lend & Borrow for James Stanier Clarke

Block 29: Lend & Borrow for James Stanier Clarke by Becky Brown

James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834)

The Reverend James Stanier Clarke was a link between Jane Austen and the Prince Regent. Clarke was Naval Chaplain on the H.M.S. Jupiter, the ship that brought the Regent’s German fiancé to England in 1795. (Jane’s brother Frank Austen was also in that fleet on another ship.) Twenty years later we find Clarke as librarian (and perhaps chaplain) to the Prince Regent, issuing an invitation to Jane Austen to visit Carlton House and tour the library.

Carlton House was the Prince Regent’s residence,
 torn down after he built Buckingham Palace while King George IV.

Lend and Borrow by Becky Brown

In Jane Austen’s England women often wrote anonymously and Jane’s books were authored “By a Lady,” Brother Henry had a hard time keeping Jane’s growing literary fame a secret. When he was recovering from a serious illness, so serious the royal family’s physician had been called in to consult, Henry bragged about his sister as the author of Pride and Prejudice. The physician apparently told the Regent and the Regent asked his librarian to invite the lady to the palace and request she dedicate her next book to her sovereign.

 Illustration of a bookshop from Dr. Syntax.
It’s hard to believe the Prince Regent actually read the books
 he collected but he seems to have enjoyed Jane’s books so 
much he kept copies at each royal residence.

Jane’s personal views of the Regent were irrelevant. She did as she was asked and Emma has a royal dedication.

Emma was, like Jane’s earlier books, published as a series. 
Readers subscribed to the series by paying ahead 
and subsidizing the printing costs.

Jane and Clarke continued a correspondence after her visit and he has earned a pompous reputation for requesting that she write a book based on his experiences. She declined but for her family wrote a short satirical Plan of a Novel based on unsolicited advice from her readers.

The Reverend Mr. Clarke seems to be Jane’s fictional 
Reverend Mr. Collins come to life.

BlockBase #3166

We can remember Rev. Clarke and Jane’s brush with royalty in Lend and Borrow, the perfect block for a librarian, given the name by the magazine The Woman’s World about 1930.

Cutting a 12” Block

A - Cut 9 squares 3-1/4” (5 light  and 4 light). Cut each in half with a diagonal cut to make 2 triangles.

You need 9 light and 7 dark of the small triangles.

B - Cut 1 square 12-7/8”. Cut in half with a diagonal cut to make 2 triangles.

You need 1 large triangle.

C - Cut 1 square 8”. Cut in half with a diagonal cut to make 2 triangles.

You need 1 medium-sized triangle.


Lend and Borrow by Bettina Havig with an applique floral
done Broderie-Perse style.

View of the Carlton House Library from Ackermann’s periodical

Lend and Borrow by Dustin Cecil

Read more about the royal librarian here at Laura Boyle's post, James Stanier Clarke: Librarian to the Prince of Wales.


  1. Nice to know how that very un-Jane-like dedication came about. Also, that Jane's identity became known by accident, not by her own design. Thank goodness we know!

  2. That big triangle begs for design and I love Bettina's applique floral!

  3. I so sad to tell you I have not received your Newsletter since 2 weeks ago and this don't permit me to follow the Austen Family Album . Please let me know what is happening.
    Thank You and best regards. Dulce Roselló (from Portugal - dulce.rosello@sapo.pt

  4. I am also not receiving emails the last 2 weeks. Can you enlighten me as to why? Were you aware of this?

    Chopin - doitrightquilter.wordpress.com

  5. I haven't received an email in about 3 weeks.

  6. As I say at the top of the left hand column here I do not know why the follow by emails have stopped working. Sorry You can still check in every week by clicking on the address: