Jane Austen, one of the world’s most famous authors, spent most of her life in the historic and beautiful county of Hampshire. Its houses, countryside and people provided the inspiration for many of her novels. 18th July 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death.
This year is packed with exhibitions, talks, walks and performances throughout Hampshire celebrating Jane’s creativity and talent, including:
The Mysterious Miss Austen event at Winchester Discovery Centre explores the intriguing question – who was Jane Austen? The exhibition looks at the author’s work, life and relationship to Hampshire.
The Allen Gallery in Alton is hosting exhibitions including Jane & her Alton Apothecary. William Curtis’ story offers a fascinating insight into the role played by members of this ancient profession within their local communities. It is possible that William himself may have been the model for the character of Mr Perry, the apothecary in Emma, who was said to be ‘an intelligent, gentlemanlike man’.
Fittingly on display at the Gosport Gallery, The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen looks at the danger and the drama as well as the entertaining and social life aboard ship, through her novels, her letters and contemporary accounts.
For one weekend only, transport yourself to Jane Austen’s esteemed world of the landed gentry. Tighten your bonnet and tip those top hats at Basing House’s Jane Austen and Regency themed weekend.
Jane Austen knew the town of Basingstoke well and attended dances in its Assembly Rooms. Austen wrote about the world she knew, and that most definitely included how one behaved at a ball, what one wore and what one ate – the gentry, the gowns and the gossip will all be explored in the Retail and Romance exhibition at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.
Jane Austen in 41 Objects exhibition is held at Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton. She spent the last eight years of her life in this unpretentious cottage in Hampshire from 1809 until 1817. It was in this house that Jane’s genius flourished and where she was free to write. The exhibition tells the story of her life and legacy.
The Jane Austen Story is a permanent display at Winchester Cathedral. Other exhibitions, talks and events are taking place here as part of Jane Austen 200. Jane is buried in the cathedral’s north nave aisle.
Illyria Outdoor Theatre is performing Pride & Prejudice at Winchester Cathedral. Can Elizabeth Bennett see beyond Mr Darcy’s pride, and can he overcome her prejudice, in order to achieve their mutual happiness?
The Jane Austen 200 website contains more information about the year’s programme of events.
Wallops Wood Cottages, overlooking the Meon Valley in the South Downs National Park, are an idea place to stay if you are visiting any of the Jane Austen events. The six ground floor, multi award-winning family and pet friendly, accessible cottages sleep 6-8 people (42 in total), all with under floor heating, wood burners, hot tubs and stunning views.