LUCY WORSLEY MARKS 200 YEARS SINCE JANE AUSTEN LEFT HER HOME IN CHAWTON TO DEPART ON HER FINAL JOURNEY
PRESS RELEASE | Jane Austen’s House Museum
image courtesy of Jane Austen’s House Museum
200 years ago today Jane Austen left her home in Chawton to depart on her final journey to Winchester where she died some weeks later.
Jane Austen’s House Museum ambassador Lucy Worsley marked this significant occasion by laying flowers from the garden at the site of the memorial plaque outside the front of the House.
Having been introduced by Museum Curator Mary Guyatt, Worsely paid an emotional tribute to Austen, speaking of her importance and reading the last letter she wrote from Chawton detailing her ill health and her plans to soon leave Chawton for Winchester.
The memorial plaque, which is a highly popular spot for visitor photos, was originally unveiled on the centenary of Jane Austen’s death on 18th June 1917. With funding from the Jane Austen Society of North America, the plaque has recently been conserved by Plowden & Smith in time for the bicentenary commemorations.
Pavol Hudacek of Plowden & Smith said: “the memorial has been displayed outside since 1917 and was substantially weather damaged. Repatinating the corroded bronze plaque, regilding the worn lettering, rebuilding the missing section of the oak frame and repairing the copper roof has not only restored the appearance of the memorial for this 2017 bicentenary, but will also help ensure the memorial survives for the tercentenary in another 100 years.”
From Friday, the memorial plaque will be featured in the Museum’s 41 Objects exhibition, the story of Jane Austen’s life and legacy, told using 41 objects from the Museum collection.
ABOUT LUCY WORSLEY
Lucy Worsley is the author of Jane Austen at Home, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Her new documentary Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors airs on BBC2 on Saturday 27th May at 9pm
ABOUT JANE AUSTEN’S HOUSE MUSEUM
Jane Austen’s House Museum is an independent Museum dedicated to the life and work of Jane Austen, one of the most popular and important novelists that England has ever produced. It is of international significance as the place where she spent the last eight years of her life and wrote or revised all her novels. A site of significant cultural relevance and a unique source of information on the life and works of Jane Austen, the house retains the charm of a Hampshire village home. To mark 200 years since Jane Austen’s death, the Museum have launched Jane’s Fund, an appeal to help restored and protect Jane’s precious home.
For further information please visit www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk