Saturday, 29 October 2016
Chawton: Jane Austen's Home in her Final Years
The cottage in the little village of Chawton where Jane Austen spent the final years of her life with her mother, her sister Cassandra and their friend Martha Lloyd, has today become the Jane Austen Museum.
At the 1811 Census, Chawton contained about forty houses and a population of 347, most of them labourers.
Jane's important literary work was written or revised on her mahogany desk by the front door or even on the dining-table. Jane and Cassandra would often spend the afternoon walking - to the shops a mile away in Alton, or visiting a neighbour. As they had no carriage, their range was limited. She always considered walking an excellent pastime. (The Dashwood girls find plenty of beautiful walks near their cottage in Devon. And Elizabeth Bennet famously enjoys getting around on foot.)