Calligraphy workshop: letters and notes

Join us for a time-travelling calligraphy workshop, revisiting the feel of writing a letter with a dip pen and ink, as Jane Austen would have done.

Tuesday 21 June
2:00pm — 4:30pm

‘I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth; I have been talking to you almost as fast as I could the whole of this letter.’

Jane writing to Cassandra, 3 January 1801

Letters and notes are at the core of Jane Austen’s novels. They were not only part of everyday life but a tangible reminder of the sender and a treasured object of affection.

In this exclusive workshop we will take inspiration from Jane Austen’s letters, be they her own to her family and friends, or letters written by the characters in her novels. Working with expert calligraphy teacher Alejandra Gonaldi, we will take a step back in time and learn to write our own beautiful letters to take home.

Over the course of the workshop you will learn to write in a cursive style, plan the best layout for your message and fold your letter as Jane Austen used to do it. By the end of the session you will have created a charming memento of Jane Austen’s House and will have the tools and skills to create more in your own time!

Jane Austen was a wonderful and prolific letter writer, many of which were to her sister Cassandra, whenever they were apart. The letters that survive give us an insight into Jane’s daily life, with detailed descriptions of clothes, outings, dances and family events.

In her novels, too, letters are very important. Who can forget Mr Darcy’s passionate letter to Elizabeth Bennet, or Captain Wentworth’s agonised outpouring to Anne Elliot – arguably the greatest love letter in fiction!

Alongside Alejandra’s expert tuition, the workshop will include an exclusive session with an expert from Jane Austen’s House, introducing you to Jane Austen’s letters that are held in the Museum collection, and sharing their favourite quotes and stories. We’ll also take a trip into the House to see one of Jane’s own letters on display.

We’ll put our pens down at some point for a refreshing cup of tea and a slice of cake… and naturally there will be plenty of time for questions and chat throughout the afternoon!

As part of this event you will receive an exclusive calligraphy kit, created by Alejandra, providing everything you need for the workshop. It will also contain detailed instructions that we will use in the workshop and that you can refer to in the future.

The calligraphy kit includes everything you need for the workshop:
-Two nibs, a vintage and a modern one
-A pen holder
-Black ink
-A 30 ml glass jar
-Handouts and practice papers


Date: Tuesday 21 June

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm

Location: This event will take place at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton. Find us.

Tickets: £85


✒️ This event includes an exclusive calligraphy kit, created by Alejandra Gonaldi, providing all the materials you need for the workshop. The calligraphy kit includes pen nibs, pen holder, black ink, handouts and practice papers.

🫖 Calligraphers need fuel, so plenty of tea, coffee and cake will be on hand to keep you going. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know after booking.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Capacity for this event will be kept very low, to allow everyone to have as much of Alejandra’s time and expertise as possible.

💃 This event is part of Jane Austen Regency Week.

About the tutor:

Alejandra Gonaldi is a Graphic Designer and Calligrapher, and the founder of CalligrAbility.

With a degree in Graphic Design from the University of La Plata, Argentina, Alejandra worked in print production and logo design until she moved to the UK in 1999.

She has always had a special interest in Typography and Calligraphy, and gradually the latter took over. Since 2016, she has focused her career on teaching and producing calligraphy work. She co-founded Love Calligraphy where she worked until April 2020. During her time there, she worked with Kirsten Burke on special events through the North West for Jo Malone, Clinique, Molton Brown and La Mer.

Now, she works independently from home to better fit her work and family life, and runs the CalligrAbility initiative.