Second in a Series
Jane Austen is one of England’s most celebrated authors, and 2013 marks the 200th anniversary her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice. It was first published in 1813.
VisitEngland has compiled a list of the locations that feature in the lives of Jane Austen and the characters that she writes about in her novels so that readers of her books can follow in their footsteps.
Where to Start Your Literary Journey
One of England’s all time literary greats, Jane Austen was born in 1775 in the Hampshire village of Steventon. This picturesque village in the heart of the South Downs has a lovely little church and a cluster of chocolate box houses.
Jane Austen fans will be delighted to learn that the church remains largely unchanged. It makes a great starting point for a literary journey through the world of Jane Austen and her novels.
Keen Walker Jane
Like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, Jane was a keen walker and often made the journey to Popham Lane, where the family collected their letters in North Walton, today known as the Wheatsheaf Inn.
In the summer of 1783, when Jane was 12 years old, she was sent to Oxford with her sister Cassandra to be taught by a Mrs Cawley. At this time, Jane’s eldest brother James was at St John’s (like his father before him), and Mrs Cawley was a family connection: her brother was married to Jane’s aunt.
St John’s College and Bodleian Library
Visitors to Oxford can visit St John’s College and the Bodleian Library, which has some original Jane Austen manuscripts.
Jane and Cassandra briefly studied in Southampton and Reading before their schooling was ended because of financial problems. Jane returned to the family home at Steventon Rectory in 1787.
That is where Jane remained there for the rest of her young adulthood. That is also where she discovered her passion for writing, penning several short stories and poems.
Life and Times of Jane Austen
The Oxford University Summer School will offer a two week course on Jane Austen in the summer of 2013. The residential course will cost £3,395. Click on the following link for more information:
Jane Austen: Her Life and Times.
Walk in the Footsteps of Jane Austen
This is the second in a series on Jane Austen and the places that shaped her life – and the lives of her characters.