Monday, April 28, 2008

Jane Austen's House

Jane Austen revised the book that was to become Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen's House at Chawton. After Jane's father died in Bath in 1805, the Austen women found themselves in very reduced financial circumstances. They moved to Southampton for a while to live with Jane's brother Francis and his wife Mary and in 1809 were finally settled at Chawton in a cottage on her brother Edward's estate. It seems that Jane felt very happy here. Her sister Cassandra took on much of the domestic duties allowing Jane to write. The manuscripts she had worked on in the 1790's were brought out again. Sense and Sensibility was the first to be revised and her brother Henry was instrumental in getting it published and helping to pay an advance on the printing costs. Such was the success of this book, that when Pride and Prejudice was published in 1812 Thomas Egerton paid 110 pounds for the copyright.
Jane Austen's house is now a museum dedicated to the author. There is a wonderful collection of information, including objects of interest which belonged to Jane. I always love going to Chawton where the people who work in the house are always warm and welcoming. If you haven't been and would like to see where Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, I cannot recommend a visit more highly! Click here for Jane Austen's House Museum
This is my idea of a young Henry Austen.

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