200 Years since Jane Austen's Death marked with Exhibitions, Performances & Writing Competitions

Jane Austen 200 years since her death


Give your English students the opportunity to see the work of Jane Austen in the context of her life and times by visiting some of the places she knew and experience something of the social environment she inhabited. As 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, one of the world's most esteemed authors, this is the perfect time to plan a tour.

To honour Austen's talent Hampshire Cultural Trust is working with Jane Austen’s House Museum and many other partners across the county. The year will be full of exhibitions, talks, walks, writing competitions and performances.

Top Ten Events

  1. Commemorations

The home of Jane Austen - Chawton in Hampshire will mark the 200th anniversary of the author leaving her cottage before her death. TV historian Lucy Worsley will mark the occasion by laying flowers at a memorial plaque outside the house & will also read the last letter Jane wrote from Chawton detailing her poor health and her plans to leave for Winchester.

   2. The Jane Austen Story

Location: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, Winchester, SO23 9LS Start date: 01/02/2017 End date: 31/12/2017

The exhibition is situated beside Jane Austen's grave and conveys the story of her life in Hampshire: her birth and childhood in Steventon, her writing and life in Chawton, and her final few weeks and death in Winchester.

  3. Sitting with Jane Project

Sitting with Jane is a public art trail made up of 24 ‘BookBenches’ situated in and around Basingstoke, each individually designed and painted by a professional artist with their personal interpretation of a Jane Austen theme. The trail will link together locations – all with free public access. It will be in place between June & September 2017.

  4. The Mysterious Miss Austen

Location: Winchester, SO23 8SB Start date: 13/05/2017 End date: 24/07/2017

Presented in partnership with Jane Austen’s House Museum, this landmark exhibition will investigate the intriguing question – who is Miss Austen? The exhibition will look at the author’s work, life and relationship to Hampshire, the place that provided inspiration for her novels. The focal point of The Mysterious Jane Austen will be six portraits of her together under one roof, & includes one from a private collection which has not been seen in public for more than forty years.

 5. The Story of Pride & Prejudice 

Start date, September 9, 2017 - Venue: St Michael’s Church,Bath,  BA1 5LJ 

This is an intimate performance of Austen’s most famous work. The romantic story between Elizabeth and Darcy will be told in a similar way that Jane will have first read it aloud to her family & friends.

 6. Chawton Open Gardens

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Stroll around the beautiful gardens in Chawton's Open Gardens event. Jane’s garden will be transformed for the weekend to the theme of ‘Horrible Histories.’ There will be the usual scarecrow and garden trail, with additional drop-in activities inspired by artefacts found in the garden. Try your hand at being an archaeologist and see what you can discover about rural life in Chawton.

  7.  Talks and Tours Day: Jane Austen in Chawton- Friday 7 July

A day of talks and tours, hosted by Chawton House Library and Jane Austen’s House Museum in association with Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The programme will bring into Chawton village the curators and contributors to two international exhibitions which are to be held in the Winchester Discovery Centre and the Weston Library, Oxford, to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. It will celebrate the publication of the joint exhibition book, Jane Austen: Novelist in the World (Bodleian Publications, 2017), will be offering talks on aspects of Jane Austen’s life in Chawton. You may also take a curator’s tour of the ‘Fickle Fortunes: Jane Austen and Germaine de Staël 1817-2017’ exhibition at Chawton House Library and to visit the Jane Austen’s House Museum.

  8. The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen: Fighting, Flirting and Fortune

Location: Gosport Gallery, Walpole Road, Gosport, PO12 1NS: Start date: 15/07/2017 End date: 20/09/2017

On display at the port of Gosport - will look at the risks and the drama as well as the entertaining and social life aboard ship,as a Naval Officer through Jane's novels, her letters and contemporary accounts. The inspiration for the naval officers in Mansfield Park and Persuasion undoubtedly came from her brothers, Charles & Francis. Both on active service in this golden era of the British Navy - the victorious Battle of Trafalgar had been fought just a few short years before.

  9.  Educating Boys and Girls in Jane Austen's England 1775-1817 

Location: Winchester College Treasury, Winchester College, College Street, Hampshire,Start date: 24/04/2017 End date: 21/08/2017

An exhibition exploring the differences between girls’ and boys’ education in Georgian England.

 10. Book of Memories: A Lasting Legacy

Location: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire,Start date: 15/05/2017 End date: 30/09/2017

As a lasting legacy to the 200th anniversary of Jane’s death, visitors to the Cathedral are invited to record their personal thoughts of what Jane Austen’s life and work has meant to them. The special Book of Memories will become a record of those who visited Austen's grave in 2017, and a lifelong addition to the Cathedral’s own collection of Jane Austen artefacts. 

Resources: Hampshire Cultural Trust & Jane Austen House Museum




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