Quote Jane

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

vrijdag 12 februari 2016

Charlotte Rampling to star in Jane Austen adaptation 'Sanditon'

Oscar-nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) is to star in a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s never-before dramatised final novel Sanditon. Jim O’Hanlon (A Hundred Streets), director of the 2009 BBC TV adaptation of Austen’s Emma, will direct from a script by British playwright Simon Reade who produces with Guy de Beaujeu for Fluidity Films (Private Peaceful). Goldcrest Film has boarded sales and finance on the project on the verge of the EFM. Goldcrest’s Nick Quested and Pascal Degove will serve as executive producers. Production is anticipated to begin in summer 2016 in the UK with additional casting underway. Austen died in July, 1817 having written the first eleven chapters of Sanditon. The unfinished manuscript, which blends the writer’s hallmark coruscating satire and romantic comedy, was bequeathed to her niece.

Rampling is due to play the imperious nouveau-riche Lady Denham in the feature which charts the story of Charlotte Heywood who is invited by eternal optimist and entrepreneur Tom Parker to spend the summer season at Sanditon. Intrigued to see (not so) polite society at play in the newly fashionable sea bathing resort, Heywood encounters a string of familiar Austen characters including Denham, the lecherous Sir Edward and the dashing, feckless Sidney Parker and his hypochondriac sisters. Pascal Degove, managing director at Goldcrest Films commented: “Charlotte Rampling is responsible for so many indelible performances, she is perfect for the crucial role of the scheming Lady Denham. This is a genuinely fresh take on a well-loved genre – we expect enormous excitement from cinemagoers and distributors alike.”

Simon Reade and Guy de Beaujeu of Fluidity Films continued: “This is a brand new, never before seen Jane Austen. Her legions of fans worldwide will be thrilled with Sanditon’s romance, comedy, sardonic wit and its clever take on the modern obsessions of health and wealth that is quintessentially Jane Austen.” Screen icon Rampling - who found herelf in the middle of a media storm last month following comments made about diversity during an interview with French radio - has been universally acclaimed for her performance in Andrew Haigh’s drama 45 Years, which saw her pick up acting awards in Berlin and Edinburgh, among other festivals. She will next be seen in Ritesh Batra’s The Sense Of An Ending alongside Jim Broadbent, Michelle Dockery and Emily Mortimer.

zaterdag 16 januari 2016

Happy New Year.

In Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie writes letters mentioning the holiday season: "Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas."


I wish you all a Happy NEW YEAR

Jane Austen's writing desk

The British Library @britishlibrary                        
See Jane Austen's writing desk in Basingstoke, on loan to Willis Museum 

dinsdag 22 december 2015

Forgotten Carols of Jane Austen’s Time

Because of laws restricting festivites at Christmastime, Christmas carols weren’t as common in the Regency Era as they are now. However, country people continued to sing carols in their homes and sometimes in churches. In 1822, shortly after Jane Austen’s death, Davies Gilbert, a native of Cornwall, published a collection of carols from his childhood in the West of England, which wasn’t too far from where the Austens lived. (You can find the entire volume here.)
I suspect that Jane may have been familiar with a few of these carols. Here is the first in the volume,entitled “The Lord at First Did Adam Make.”

In all, the carols he shared were as follows (click on each title to link to the words to each carol):
  1. The Lord At First Did Adam Make
  2. When God At First Created Man
  3.  A Virgin Most Pure
  4. When Righteous Joseph Wedded Was
  5. Hark, Hark! What News The Angels Bring
  6. Whilst Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night (You may recognize this one since it’s still a popular carol.)
  7. God’s Dear Son Without Beginning
  8. Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined

maandag 21 december 2015

“I hsiw uoy a yppah wen raey … Siht si elttil Yssac’s yadhtrib, dna ehs si eerht sraey dlo”

Jane Austen was born 16 December 1775 in Hampshire, England. Birthdays were important events in Jane Austen’s life – those of others perhaps more so than her own. The first of her letters which has come down to us was a birthday letter, addressed to her sister Cassandra, who had turned 23 that day. “I hope you will live twenty-three years longer,” Jane Austen wrote on 9 January 1796, immediately adding that “Mr Tom Lefroy’s birthday was yesterday”, and that in celebration of this, they had “had an exceeding good ball last night” (Letter 1). Tom Lefroy was a young man Jane Austen was very much in love with at that time, though he would have been too young for anything serious to have come of it. Another birthday letter to Cassandra survives, written three years later: “I wish you Joy of your Birthday twenty times over” (Letter 17, 8−9 January 1799).
Read more: blog.oup/12/birthday-letters-jane-austen

Chawton Cottage in winter.

donderdag 17 december 2015

Jane Austen's music collection made available online

About 600 pieces of music that belonged to Jane Austen have been made available online for the first time. The Pride and Prejudice author, who also played piano and sang, copied music by hand into personal albums and collected sheet music. They were digitised by the University of Southampton's Hartley Library. Project leader and professor of music Jeanice Brooks said they would help to explain the "musical environment that fed the novelist's imagination".  She added that the novels were "full of musical scenes", and the collection would provide music historians with a "unique glimpse of the musical life of an extended gentry family in the years around 1800".
In all, 18 albums of music that belonged to the 19th Century writer and her relations have been digitised. A university spokesman said they reflected the personal tastes of their owners "just as a digital music collection on a mobile phone or MP3 device would today". They include the music for the traditional Welsh song Nos Galan, better known today as Christmas song Deck the Halls.

Austen's sisters-in-law and nieces also contributed material. It is thought the collection was inherited by the writer's older brother Edward Austen Knight, and brought to the family library at Chawton House in Hampshire by his daughter Fanny Knight, Lady Knatchbull. Diane Bilbey, from Jane Austen's House Museum, said: "We are delighted that this collection can be shared with so many through digital means, and that its availability will benefit researchers and musicians alike."

woensdag 16 december 2015

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775.

The seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen, Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Jane's parents were well-respected community members. Her father served as the Oxford-educated rector for a nearby Anglican parish. The family was close and the children grew up in an environment that stressed learning and creative thinking. When Jane was young, she and her siblings were encouraged to read from their father's extensive library. The children also authored and put on plays and charades. biography./jane-austen

Interesting janeaustensworld/to-conceive-or-not-to-conceive-that-is-the-regency-question/

dinsdag 15 december 2015

Almost Christmas

From: austenprose/a-jane-austen-christmas-celebrating-the-season-of-romance-, Never really realized that Jane Austen first met Tom LeFroy when he was visiting the area around Christmastime. I also never realized that Harris Bigg-Wither proposed to her while the Austen sisters were staying with his family over the holidays. Understanding some of these moments in the context of the season helped to give them an intimacy that hadn’t been there before—at least not for me.


zaterdag 28 november 2015

vrijdag 13 november 2015

Cheque of John Murray to Jane Austen, 21 October 1816

Although her books would go on to become bestsellers they had only modest success and profits during Austen's lifetime. This small cheque was one of the few she received. It is for her share of the profits from the first edition of 'Emma' and the second edition of 'Mansfield Park'.

This item is sponsored by The Jane Austen Society


donderdag 5 november 2015

Reports of Jane’s death appeared in newspapers across England.

Jane Austen’s obituary.
(Salisbury and Winchester Journal, Monday July 28, 1817.)
Most were brief, containing only a line or two and no mention of her novels at all.  The following notice appeared in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal, Monday July 28, 1817.  It is one of the lengthier obituaries and one of the only ones I could find that mention her books. mimimatthews

zaterdag 26 september 2015

Jane Austen and the art of letter writing

Janes father owned an extensive library, and Austen was an avid reader. But in genteel families such as hers letter writing skills were usually handed down within the family.

Jane is believed to have written some 3,000 letters, only about 160 of which have survived, most of them addressed to Cassandra.

Cassandra wasn’t the only one she corresponded with. There are letters to her brothers, to friends, to her nieces and nephews as well as to her publishers and some of her literary admirers, with whom she slowly developed a slightly more intimate relationship. There is even a letter to Charles Haden, the handsome apothecary who she is believed to have been in love with. Her unusual ending, “Good bye”, suggests a kind of flirting on paper. The language of the letters shows how she varied her style depending on who she was writing to. She would use the word fun, considered a “low” word at the time, only to the younger generation of Austens. Jane Austen loved linguistic jokes, as shown by the reverse letter to her niece Cassandra Esten: “Ym raed Yssac, I hsiw uoy a yppah wen raey”, and she recorded her little nephew George’s inability to pronounce his own name: “I flatter myself that itty Dordy will not forget me at least under a week”. Read all: oxforddictionaries

dinsdag 15 september 2015

Peering into the past

Something that can be overlooked in a museum is the history of the museum itself. As a "House Museum" part of our story is told through the bricks and mortar, but naturally the focus of our attention is on the house as it would have been at the time Jane Austen lived here (1809-17) and to a lesser degree beyond those years to 1845 when Jane's sister Cassandra died and the cottage was no longer the home of the Austen ladies.
The photograph above shows the drawing-room in the 1950s and features Mr Austen's Bureau, the Clementi Piano, the chaise longue (which was found in the attic) and a portrait of two of Francis Austen's children, Mary-Jane and George. The mirror above the bureau is one that was owned by the Austen family and is currently in need of conservation. The other frame contains fragments of the wallpaper which was discovered when shelving was removed from the area of the window at the front of the house that was blocked off in 1809. If you look closely it is possible to see that the floor has neither floorboards nor carpet. Although the Austens would have had rugs, this room had a flagstone floor and although the ladies would have spent their evenings in this room it certainly was not a grand room. Floorboards were not installed until 1983.
The House first opened as a Museum in 1949; at the time some tenants were still living in parts of the house. The Museum has grown and been developed over the years. It was only in 2009 that a separate entrance to the Museum was created, rather than visitors paying on arrival in the drawing-room, and we were able for the first time to open the kitchen to the public, bringing the majority of the House into the visitor experience. (We do still have a few corners where we have tucked offices away, but generally our visitors are able to see the whole house). Read more: jane-austens-house-museum

zondag 6 september 2015

Jane Austen movie costume as worn by HayleyAtwell for Mansfield Park.

Rose@thelifeof_rose 28 aug.                       
Lovely Jane Austen movie costume as worn by for Mansfield Park.

zondag 23 augustus 2015


Jane Austen's House @JaneAustenHouse 21 aug.                       
Our busy sunny day has all been a bit much for Marmite

zondag 9 augustus 2015

Selected cast and director of 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice to attend Chawton conference

MEMBERS of the original cast and the director of the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice are to take part in an autumn conference at Chawton House Library.

dinsdag 28 juli 2015

Chawton Cottage

  The Admirals room — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.
The Admirals Room: this was the biggest of all the bedrooms and contained the memorabilia of Jane’s two brothers. Francis Austen became Admiral of the Fleet and was knighted by King William IV. On one of the walls are the Letters Patent in 1862 appointing him as High Admiral, this was an honorary appointment given under the Great Seal of England by Queen Victoria. There is the portable bed Francis took with him on all his voyages and in the cupboard is displayed the family silver, in particular the snuff box and salver presented to Charles by his brother officers. There are also examples of wood carvings by Francis. In a small room off the Admirals Room and protected by glass is a bed with a wonderful patchwork coverlet made by Jane, her mother and sister, it was made from materials from their own and nieces cotton dresses. The lovely Caen lace shawl belonged to Fanny Knight, their niece. stgeorgesnews

Slippers and mittens worn by Jane of an evening. — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.

The first room we stepped into was the Drawing Room, there was a very elegant Regency window which was put in to give the ladies more privacy from the road. Jane would have practised on a piano similar to the one in this room.
The Vestibule was a narrow area more like a hallway, it is possible that the front door was where the window is now, the door was moved later to the Dining Parlour. In the display cabinet were manuscript letters written by Jane Austen, it is most rare to see any manuscript material of Jane Austen’s on display.
The Dining Parlour: here is a display of very fine china, a Wedgewood dinner service some of which had a monogram, possibly the Knights. Jane and her brother and Fanny her niece chose this at the Wedgewood showrooms in London. On the wall near the door is a calculation of Jane’s earnings, it shows that she earned £808, about £40,000 at today’s value.
We now move into a very small room called the Reading Room, its use is not known but has been referred to as the offices.
We now continue up a narrow staircase to Jane Austen’s bedroom. The bed is a replica of one that Jane and Cassandra shared at Steventon, a previous home, the wicker chair in the room had belonged to the Austen’s, there was a very small closet for toilet purposes. In the opposite corner was another exit, it was suggested that it led to another small room which Jane used to write her novels. On the wall is a water colour painted by Cassandra, also are some admiring comments about Jane’s novels by Sir Walter Scott and Sir Winston Churchill.
We move on again to Mrs Austen’s bedroom, a small room  which had two back to back showcases which contained memorabilia. The first contains books owned by the Austen family including Martha Lloyd’s recipe book written while she was here. In the second case were miniatures of the family and family jewellery, of particular interest are the locks of hair mounted in brooches as mementoes of deceased family members, there in a cupboard devoted to the Austen family pastimes. On the walls as in all the rooms there were accounts of the family.
The Dressing Room: in this small room is an account of the many houses which Jane lived in or had visited including Steventon, Bath, Southampton, Godmersham, Chawton and Winchester; in the cases are several interesting items including items relating to dress.  From: .stgeorgesnews
Embroidered by Jane herself. — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.

zaterdag 25 juli 2015

Miss Benn.

Mary Benn was the younger sister of Reverend John Benn (1766-1875) who presided over the parish of Farringdon, nearby Chawton in rural Hampshire.  Mr. Benn and his wife had as dozen children, which probably meant they could not do much to help Miss Benn. She was unmarried and living in very poor circumstances in Chawton, close to the Austen’s. She dined with them frequently, as we can see in some of Jane’s letters and is often remembered by Cassandra who gave her a gift of a shawl.

On May 25, 1811, Miss Mary Benn dined at Chawton Cottage with Jane Austen, and -- one assumes -- her mother Mrs. Cassandra Austen and their co-resident, Martha Lloyd.

Jane tells her sister that the Pinks and Sweet Williams are blooming and the Syringas coming out. She relates family news, upcoming journeys  and that very day a second encounter with Miss Benn  over their tea table.

Miss Benn is a poor spinster who lives in reduced circumstances in Chawton; though we know little about her, she is mentioned in Jane Austen's letters more than a dozen times in the few years between the Austen's arrival in Chawton and Miss Benn's death at age 46 in early January, 1816.  Some biographers have speculated that her extreme poverty caused the Austens to invite her for meals frequently.  In her 1997 biography Jane Austen: A Life, Claire Tomalin  writes, "'Poor Miss Benn' appears very much oftener in Jane's letters than their few better-off neighbours; she was not very interesting, but then nor were they"

Thatch Cottage (below) was home to Miss Benn,  She lived in this building until 1816


donderdag 23 juli 2015

Revd John Rawstorn Papillon

Revd John Rawstorn Papillon
On Friday 9 December 1808 Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra about their move from Southampton to Chawton in Hampshire to a house on the estate of her, wealthy brother Edward, who had been adopted by rich, childless relatives, the Knights. Mrs. Knight had suggested that the local rector, John Papillon, would be a good catch for Jane as a husband. Jane wrote,

'I am very much obliged to Mrs. Knight for such a proof of the interest she takes in me, and she may depend upon it that I will marry Mr. Papillon, whatever may be his reluctance or my own. I owe her much more than such a trifling sacrifice.'

The family joke was still continuing in December 1816 when Jane wrote to her nephew, 'I am happy to tell you that Mr Papillon will soon make his offer, probably next Monday, as he returns on Saturday. - His intentions can be no longer doubtful in the smallest degree, as he has secured the refusal of the House which Mrs Baverstock at present occupies in Chawton & is to vacate soon, which is of course intended for Mrs Elizth Papillon.'          

  • The Papillons were Huguenots. 
  • Title: Rev 1 2 3
  • Name: John Rawstorn PAPILLON 1 2 3
  • Sex: M
  • Note: John's middle name is customarily spelt 'Rawstone', or 'Rawston.' However the spelling recorded here appears to be correct - it is, for example, the version given in the record of Cambridge alumni, and on his Will. This name entered the family with the marriage of John's great-great-aunt Sarah Papillon to Samuel Rawstorne in 1683. No doubt he was given the name because of an arrangement with his Godmother, Anne Rawstorne, that he should inherit the estate of Lexden from her. 1 3 2
  • Birth: 1763 2 3
  • Education: Papillon, John Rawstorn Adm. pens. at QUEENS', Dec. 22, 1781. Of Kent. [S. of David, of Acrise and Lee.] Matric. Michs. 1784; Scholar, 1786; B.A. 1786; M.A. 1789. Fellow, 1788. V. of Tonbridge, 1791-1804. R. of Chawton, Hants., 1802-36. Jane Austen and her mother and sister were living at Chawton at this time, and there are numerous references to Papillon and his sister in her letters. The living was in the gift of her brother Edward. Brother of Thomas. (Foster, Index Eccles.; Clerical Guide.) 1781 1
  • Death: 04 APR 1837
  • Note: He was buried at Lexden, which Manor and Estate he had inherited from his godmother and second-cousin-once-removed, Anne Rawstorne. He later devised the property to his sister Elizabeth, for life, with Remainder to his great-nephew Philip Oxenden Papillon.
    In 1794, the Revd John Rawstorn Papillon was given first refusal of the Rectory of Chawton, Hampshire, at the next vacancy i.e. at the death of the then incumbent, the Revd John Hinton. However, if he did not wish to accept the living, it was stated that it should be offered to Henry Austen, Jane's brother. Although Henry was with his regiment in East Anglia, he quite liked his original idea of ordination and asked his brother Edward Knight to buy Mr Papillon's refusal in advance of the vacancy occurring. Edward offered up to œ1,200 (a tidy sum in 1794) but he was refused.

    The Revd John Hinton died in 1802 and John Papillon and his sister, Elizabeth, took up residence at the rectory at Chawton, which still exists opposite the entrance to the drive to Chawton Great House, owned by Edward Knight. Six years later Jane Austen with her mother and sister moved into Chawton Cottage. Following Mrs. Knight's proposal that Jane marry Mr Papillon it became the family joke that the marriage would take place one day. Both John Papillon and his sister Elizabeth appear frequently in the surviving letters of Jane Austen. Elizabeth called often on the Austens and the two families dined together on a regular basis. Some references do seem to show that she did not always think highly of them. In a letter to her sister Cassandra written on Sunday 24 January 1813, she wrote, '...I have walked once to Alton, & yesterday Miss Papillon & I walked together to call on the Garnets. She invited herself very pleasantly to be my companion, when I went to propose to the indulgence of accommodating us about the Letters from the Mountains. I had a very agreeable walk; if she had not, more shame for her, for I was quite as entertaining as she was...'

    In fact the Rector did inherit a sizeable property at Lexden in Essex. In the early 17th century Sir
    Thomas Lucas acquired the tenter house in Lexden Street, which was in ruins in 1561. He apparently built a new house on that site and gardens were laid out around and across the road, opposite the house, where Lexden springs were landscaped to give a prospect of ornamental water with plantations. In 1701 the manor was sold to Samuel Rawstorn of London. Thomas Rawstorn, son and heir of Samuel, devised the manor to his widow Sophia, with remainder to his daughter Ann. She then devised Lexden to the Revd. John Rawstorn Papillon. Lexden Heath, comprising 290 acres, was enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1821. Under the award John Papillon acquired 151 acres by allotment and bought common rights on 18 acres. By 1838 the Papillon family owned 1,216 acres out of 2,312 acres in the parish.

    Miss Patience Terry and Miss Mary Benn

    John Papillon was obviously considered a good catch even if Jane Austen had no interest in becoming Mrs Papillon. Two spinsters, Miss Patience Terry and Miss Mary Benn were after him. Miss Benn was desperate, being the unmarried sister of the rector of a neighbouring village who had 13 children. She lived on the charity of others, with invitations to dinner most evenings. The Papillons were generous towards her, having her for dinner on a very regular basis. The efforts of the two women did not go unnoticed by Jane Austen. In the same letter she noted,

    '...I could see nothing very promising between Mr. P. & Miss P.T. She placed herself on one side of him at first, but Miss Benn obliged her to move up higher; - & she had an empty plate, & even asked him to give her some Mutton without being attended to for some time. - There might be some design in this, to be sure, on his side; - he might think an empty Stomach the most favourable for Love...'

    zondag 19 juli 2015

    Barton Cottage. Sense and Sensitivity 1995.

    A view of Barton Valley, as they (Mrs Dashwood and the girls) entered it, gave them cheerfulness. It was a pleasant, fertile spot, well wooded, and rich in pasture.  A small green court was the whole of its demesne in front; and a neat wicket-gate admitted them into it.  As a house, Barton Cottage, though small, was comfortable and compact; but as a cottage it was defective, for the building was regular, the roof was tiled, the window shutters were not painted green, nor were the walls covered with honeysuckles. A narrow passage led directly through the house into the garden behind. On each side of the entrance was a sitting room, about sixteen feet square. Four bed-rooms and two garrets formed the rest of the house.



    Part of the diary of Emma Thompson katewinsletfan.com/sense-and-sensibility

    maandag 6 april 2015

    “My mother has ordered a new bonnet, and so have I.

    “My mother has ordered a new bonnet, and so have I; both white strip, trimmed with white ribbon” Jane Austen, Letter to Cassandra, May 1801.
    The first Easter bonnets were spring bonnets. They must have felt wonderful to wear after the restrictions of Lent and the gloomy clothes of winter.
    Eleanor Houghton, a practicing milliner and Regency dress expert, has made two bonnets for Chawton house Library to commemorate the bicentenary of the publications of Pride and Prejudice and... Mansfield Park. One of the images below shows the ‘1813 Lydia Bennet Bonnet’, which we use to illustrate Regency-period clothing for our school groups. The other, the 1814 Maria Rushworth bonnet, was auctioned to raise funds for our charity at the Jane Austen Society of North America meeting in Montreal in 2014. The historically accurate headdress took over sixty hours of labour, twenty five metres of natural straw plait and ninety metres of cotton thread to make. Read Eleanor’s fascinating blog post from last year here:
    Eleanor will be returning to Chawton House Library this summer on 24th June during Regency week to give an evening talk on clothing in the time of Jane Austen. Tickets will soon be available to buy via our website.

    zaterdag 4 april 2015

    woensdag 1 april 2015

    Beautiful pictures of Chawton Cottage.

    More beautiful pictures on: a3traveller/on-the-trail-of-jane-austen/

    History of Chawton House.

    Edward Austen’s inheritance of Chawton and Godmersham from his benefactor Thomas Knight is well documented.  Thomas Knight and his new bride, Catherine, were on a tour of their recently inherited estates.  At Steventon, they visited their distant cousin, the Rev. George Austen and his family. When Thomas and Catherine failed to produce any heirs, they officially adopted the sixteen-year-old Edward in 1783 (Nokes 72-73).  It is a little known fact that for over one hundred sixty years, the Knight family were also owners of a third estate in addition to Chawton and Godmersham:  Abbots Barton and Abbey Farm, the former Hyde Abbey’s lands in Winchester.

    The owners of the three estates were affluent landowners and many served as members of Parliament.  Financially savvy gentry expanded their estates by carefully considered marriages between important local families and sometimes through the consolidation of an estate by means of land exchanges. jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/

    The Chawton estate dates to at least the late Saxon period. After the Norman Conquest william the Conqueror granted the estate to Hugh de Port, and Chawton remained a de Port possession for over 300 years. Henry III and the future Edward I were frequent visitors during the 13th century. The estate passed down through the male line for 3 centuries, then passed through the female line for another two centuries until, in 1551, it was sold to John Knight, whose family had been tenant farmers at Chawton for centuries. John's son, also named John, replaced the medieval manor house with the attractive Elizabethan building we can see today. britainexpress

    In 1524 William Knight had a lease of the ' cite of the Manor place ' and farm of Chawton, with the West Park, for which he paid 25.

    In April 1551, the land was sold for £180 to John Knight, whose family had been tenant farmers in Chawton since the thirteenth century and who had prospered sufficiently to wish to acquire a large estate. The medieval manor house was replaced by John Knight’s grandson, also called John, with the largely Elizabethan house that can be seen today. The building work began c.1583 and continued until the mid 1660s to create the house as it stands today. chawtonhouse

    Some times later.
    Sir Richard had no children, and devised his estate to the grandson of his aunt Dorothy, who had married Michael Martin of Ensham in Oxfordshire. This grandson, Richard (Martin) Knight, his brother Christopher, and his sister Elizabeth, were all owners in succession, the last named for much the longest period. She was also the most prominent figure of the three in our history; for fate directed that she should have the final disposition of the estate. archive/stream/chawtonmanoritso00austuoft/chawton

    Anne Mynne
    The story of the Knight family’s involvement in Winchester begins with Anne Mynne. Anne’s husband, George Mynne of Woodcote Park, Epsom, was described as a merchant, draper, clothier, royal servant, politician, ironmaster, moneylender, clerk in Chancery, and extortionist (Malden 271-78).3  Following George’s death in 1648, his trustees managed his estate on behalf of his widow, Anne.  In 1649 Anne purchased the reversionary interest of the Manor of Steventon in Hampshire from Thomas Brocas (Page 171-74).  In 1650 she purchased the manor belonging to Edward Darcy in Epsom.

     In 1650 Anne Mynne purchased Abbots Barton from the financially-ruined owner.  On Anne Mynne’s death in 1663 her estates passed to her daughters:  Elizabeth (wife of Richard Evelyn5) and Lady Anne (wife of Sir John Lewkenor of West Dean, Sussex).  The Epsom estate passed to Elizabeth, Abbots Barton to Lady Anne, and Steventon was shared between them.  Under the law at that time, Sir John was seen as the owner of all Lady Anne’s wealth and property.  Sir John died in 1669 (aged 46) and Lady Anne (then aged 35), as was common for a young widow, soon married again.  Her second husband, Sir William Morley of Halnaker, Sussex, was also a rich and respected member of the gentry (Page 171-74). archive/Chawton

    Elizabeth Martin
    When Lady Anne died in 1704, all her estates, including Abbots Barton, passed to her son John.  John died in 1706 with no legitimate heirs, and Abbots Barton passed to Elizabeth Martin, a distant cousin, through her parents Michael and Frances (née Lewkenor).  Elizabeth already owned extensive property, inheriting lands at Chawton in 1702 after the deaths of her brothers, Richard and Christopher.

    The Knight family had owned Chawton from 1524 when William Knight had taken on the lease of the manor place and farm.  When his descendent, Sir Richard Knight died in 1679 without heirs, the estate passed to the grandson of his aunt, Dorothy.

    Elizabeth Martin was a strong woman with a sense of duty and took an active part in managing her estates (Austen-Leigh and Knight 124).  Her detailed accounts have survived at Hampshire Record Office.8  As a requirement of her inheritance, Elizabeth changed her name to Knight as her brothers in their turn had done.  When Elizabeth married her cousin William Woodward (son of Elizabeth Lewkenor, her mother’s sister), he too changed his name to Knight, thus perpetuating the Knight family name even though the last direct heir had died in 1679 (Burke 442-44; Austen-Leigh and Knight 122-24, 127-29).  Four years after William Knight (né Woodward) died in 1721, Elizabeth married Bulstrode Peachey, who was at one time MP for Midhurst.  Her second husband also relinquished his family name, becoming known as Peachey Knight; such was the power of the inheritance conditions. Elizabeth died in 1737, leaving no surviving heirs and no immediate relatives.

    The freehold has remained in the Knight family ever since the sixteenth century, though on many occasions the ownership passed laterally and sometimes by female descent, requiring several heirs to change their surnames to Knight. Sir Richard Knight, who inherited at the age of two in 1641, had no children and he left the estate to a grandson of his aunt, Richard (Martin) Knight. His brother, and then his sister, Elizabeth, inherited in their turn. During the first part of the eighteenth century, Elizabeth undertook the further development of the house and gardens. She married twice, but again no children were born, and when she died the estate passed to her cousin Thomas Brodnax May Knight, who united it with his own large fashionable property in Kent, Godmersham Park.
    In 1781, Thomas Knight II inherited the house. He and his wife Catherine had no children of their own, but through family connections with Jane Austen’s father, the Reverend George Austen, they eventually adopted Jane’s third brother, Edward, in the year of his sixteenth birthday.   Edward Austen eventually took over management of the estates at Godmersham and Chawton in 1797, living mostly at Godmersham and letting the Great House at Chawton to gentlemen tenants.

    In 1826, the house became the home of Edward (Austen) Knight’s son, also Edward, who carried out extensive work on the estate, building a new Servants Hall, a Billiard Room wing and replacing some of the wooden sash windows with stone casements. On his death the title passed to his son Montagu who spent considerable amounts of time and money continuing the restoration and modernising of the house, with the influence of Edwin Lutyens being apparent in many areas. As Montagu was childless, his nephew, Lionel, inherited the estate, followed by his son Edward Knight III. Inheritance taxes and increased running costs following the war then started a long period of decline, the sale of most of the outlying manor and the subdivision of the house into flats.

    Austen werd geboren in Hampshire. Haar vader was een geestelijke. Het grootste deel van haar leven bleef zij in haar geboortestreek. Austen had zes broers en een oudere zuster, Cassandra, met wie zij zeer hecht was. Het enige onbetwiste portret van Jane Austen is een gekleurde schets die door Cassandra werd gemaakt en nu in de National Portrait Gallery in Londen hangt. In 1801 verhuisde de familie naar Bath. In 1802 werd Austen ten huwelijk gevraagd door de rijke Harris Bigg-Wither en zij stemde toe; de volgende dag deelde ze echter mee dat zij haar woord niet kon houden en trok haar instemming in. De reden hiervoor is niet bekend, maar Austen is nooit getrouwd. Na de dood van haar vader in 1805 woonden Jane, haar zuster en haar moeder daar nog verscheidene jaren tot zij in 1809 naar Chawton verhuisden. Hier had haar rijke broer Edward een landgoed met een plattelandshuisje, dat hij aan zijn moeder en zusters schonk (dit huis is tegenwoordig open voor het publiek). Zelfs nadat zij naam gemaakt had als romanschrijfster bleef zij in relatieve stilte leven, maar haar gezondheid ging sterk achteruit. Er wordt nu aangenomen dat zij de ziekte van Addison had, waarvan toen de oorzaak nog onbekend was. Ze reisde naar Winchester om behandeling te zoeken, maar stierf daar en werd begraven in de kathedraal.
    Tot Austens beroemdste werk behoort de roman Emma. Het boek wordt vaak aangehaald vanwege de perfectie van vorm. Moderne critici blijven ook nieuwe perspectieven ontdekken op het scherpe commentaar van Austen betreffende de klasse van jonge, ongehuwde, aristocratische Engelse vrouwen in de vroege 19e eeuw.


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