06. Jane Austen and Hampshire

06. Jane Austen and Hampshire
Hampshire Papers 6: Jane Austen and Hampshire
by Audrey Hawkridge (1995)

Jane Austen is perhaps Hampshire's best known author. She lived for the greater part of her life in the county, and undoubtedly had a great affection for it, rejoicing openly at being 'a Hampshire born Austen'. Her home from her birth in 1775 until 1801 was the village of Steventon, where her father was rector, and she was deeply shocked to learn that she was to move to Bath in 1801 with her parents and sister, Cassandra. Her return to Hampshire in 1806, to live in Southampton, was apparently a source of great relief to her, and she lived the rest of her life in the county, eventually settling in Chawton in 1809. She died in 1817 in Winchester.

Using letters written by Jane Austen to Cassandra, and the memoirs and reminiscences of Austen relatives, the author provides a vivid account of the writer's life in Hampshire. She describes her early years at Steventon, where her first novels were written and her friendships were largely formed. She sheds light on her stay in Southampton, then a fashionable spa town, and she writes of her later years at Chawton, now regarded as her literary home. Plentifully illustrated throughout with contemporary maps, prints and portraits, the paper paints a fascinating picture of the Hampshire places and Hampshire people - among them family, friends and ordinary villagers - Jane Austen would have known.

'This is an excellent source of information regarding Jane Austen's life in Hampshire ... written with skill and spirit, and ... a pleasure to read.' (Newsletter of the Jane Austen Society)

Physical description 295mm x 210mm; softback; 32 pages.
Published in 1995 by Hampshire County Council.

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