English novelist (1775–1817)
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was an English novelist known for books such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. These novels and their motion picture adaptations are acclaimed for their depiction of the aristocracy of early modern England.
|“||It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.||”|
—Sense and Sensibility
- 1 Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay St (Bath, England). A very popular museum and a fascinating testament to Jane Austen's lasting appeal. As a museum it is somewhat disappointing as it is in a house where Jane never lived and contains no items with any connection to her (unless you count items from recent films).
- 2 Chawton House Library (The Centre for the Study of Early Women's Writing), Chawton. A listed Elizabethan manor house (and garden) built around 1590, containing a library. The ‘Great House’ referred to in Jane Austen’s letters, it belonged to Jane Austen's brother.
- 3 Jane Austen's House, Winchester Rd, Chawton, GU34 1SD (Alton (Hampshire)). The 17th-century house in which novelist Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life, writing and revising six of her novels. Highlights of the museum include Austen's writing table, family heirlooms, and painstakingly recreated wallpaper. The museum opened in 1949.
- 4 Winchester Cathedral, 9 The Close, SO23 9LS. A Norman cathedral begun in 1079, containing the Winchester Bible and featuring the longest Gothic nave in the world. Jane Austen died in Winchester in 1817 and is buried in the cathedral. A statue by British artist Anthony Gormley is to be found, somewhat unexpectedly, in the crypt of the cathedral.
- 5 Chatsworth House (A few miles from Bakewell). A massive and spectacular late-17th-century stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (inspiration for Pemberley, apparently), open to public, pay for parking but with free access to surrounding area (flat riverside ambles, wooded hillside trails, famous fountain). Restaurants at old stables, cafe at car park in grounds.
- 6 Lyme Park, Disley SK12 2NR (6 miles southeast of Stockport, Cheshire). A stately mansion and extensive grounds owned by the National Trust. The house dates from the late 16th century but has been extensively remodelled in sort-of-Palladian-going-on-Baroque plus loads of Victoriana. It's often used as a film and TV location. Among its contents are the Lyme Caxton Missal, an original liturgy of the Mass published by Caxton. Off-beat buildings in its parklands are The Cage (a lock-up rebuilt in 1737) and The Lantern belvedere.
- 7 Westminster Abbey (Westminister, London). The Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey commemorates more than a hundred writers, including Jane Austen.
- 8 The Cobb (Lyme Regis). A large harbour wall, that has featured in novels by Jane Austen (who lived for a time in Lyme Regis) and in the film The French Lieutenant's Woman, based on the book of the same name by local writer John Fowles.