Jane Austen exhibition reveals author’s life and brings new prominence to her final resting place. As the bicentenary decade of Jane Austen’s heyday and early death approaches, a new permanent exhibition at her resting place in Winchester Cathedral opened to unveil the life and times of the renowned author like never before.
The exhibition and supporting events come as this decade marks 200 years since Jane Austen wrote her famous novels. They are: Sense and Sensibility(1811); Pride and Prejudice (1813); Mansfield Park(1814); Emma (1815) and Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817). She was born in 1775 and died in 1817.
The exhibition, which will document Jane’s home and social life, will be supported by a mix of permanent and rolling exhibits borrowed from collections around the world. From 10 April until 20 September items from Winchester Cathedral’s and Winchester College’s archives will be on display. Some of these items have rarely, if ever, been displayed publicly before and include her burial register, first editions and fragments of Jane’s own writing.
Guided tours, specific exhibitions and talks will take visitors through her life and works to mark her legacy and set the stage for Jane’s bicentenary. Stand out events are:
- 16-18 July: Jane Austen Weekend (including Regency Dinner) which coincides with the Jane Austen Society AGM
- 5-6 August: Outside theatre production of Pride and Prejudice
- Extended tours which take visitors beyond the Cathedral to see Jane’s final home just beyond the Cathedral Inner Close.
The Jane Austen exhibition has been brought together by Charlotte Barnaville, the Cathedral’s Marketing Officer, and a team of specialist advisors. Charlotte comments:
“Hampshire offers Jane Austen admirers a wonderful window into her life, at her birthplace of Steventon, where she lived at Chawton and in Winchester, her final resting place. The Cathedral provides the perfect space to bring together each element of Jane’s life through the public exhibition and to give prominence to her ledgerstone, which lies quietly in the north nave aisle and often goes unnoticed.
“Our focus will be on Jane Austen the person, her life, family and friends. So much of daily life during the regency period is so different to today, and we know this will reveal a totally different side to Jane Austen’s fans and followers.”
The exhibition is open during Cathedral visiting hours, and visitors will be able to enjoy the rest of the Cathedral’s treasures during their visit. There is a small charge to visit the Cathedral, and an annual pass costs just £10. Please contact the Cathedral if making a special visit, as occasionally services and events may limit access to the exhibition.