‘The Jane Austen Story’ new exhibit at Winchester Cathedral opens April 10, 2010

In celebration of the upcoming bicentenary decade of Jane Austen’s published works (1811-2011), a new permanent exhibit will open on April 10, 2010 at her resting place Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, England. The exhibit will reveal the renowned British author’s life and times in Hampshire and focus prominence to her grave site in the cathedral’s north aisle of the nave where she was buried on July 24th, 1817, five days after her death in Winchester at age 41.  

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.

There will also be guided tours, specific exhibitions and talks taking visitors through her life and works to mark her legacy and set the stage for Jane’s bicentenary.  Highlights include:

  • 1 May: Special Evensong to mark Jane Austen’s life, and place in the Cathedral’s history
  • 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.

“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.” Charlotte Barnaville, the Cathedral’s Marketing Officer

Additional information on the exhibit and visiting details can be found at the Winchester Cathedral’s website and the official Visit Winchester travel website. Now Janeites, yet another reason to rationalize the expenditure of a trip to England! ;-)


9 thoughts on “‘The Jane Austen Story’ new exhibit at Winchester Cathedral opens April 10, 2010

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  1. How wonderful to get to see this! We are trying to plan a trip to endland, but who knows when we will ever get around to it… life always seems to have more pressing usage of our time in mind!


  2. Ya know, for as many times as I have looked at her gravestone before, I only just now saw that all the s letters look like the letter f. Hmmm


  3. Considering my birthday is actually July 18, I think I know just the trip to coincide with the momentous event of my birth — and dear Jane’s death. Let me know when you’re booking your flight, Laurel Ann. :)


  4. Friends of mine are going to London soon and just recommended this to them! Hope they get to go and will live through them vicariously! =)


  5. A terrific event to celebrate the bi-centenuary of Jane’s published works. Here’s hoping they publish a catalogue to order…another way to live vicariously, I guess. lol !


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