Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jane's birth and death

A window in the side of the church at Steventon where jane Austen's father was vicar.
A view of the side of Steventon Church. Jane Austen's tomb in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral.
Another view showing the inscription on Jane Austen's tomb.
The house Jane died in.
This is the house Jane Austen died in. It is just outside the precincts of Winchester Cathedral. The house belonged to her doctor.
The front entrance to Winchester Cathedral.
This medieval face is to the left of the door leading into Steventon Church. Jane would have seen it often.
A cross roads in Steventon Village, Hampshire.
Steventon Church.
This is the grave of Jane's brother, James Austen, who took over as the vicar of Steventon when their father retired.

Some cottages in Steventon. As a baby Jane was sent to live with a family in the village. Women in the village would often act as wet nurses for Mrs Austen. It is sometimes sited as a reason for Jane's emotional distance from her mother. However, using wet nurses was a common practice at the time.
Jane Austen was born in Steventon near Basingstoke in Hampshire. She was the daughter of the vicar of Steventon. She probably thought she was destined to live in Steventon all her life. Some of her novels and all her early writing was done there. It was a shock to her and her sister Cassandra, when her father retired and decided to move the family to Bath. Jane had no choice in the matter.She only found out after the decision had been made.

In the last years of her life Jane Austen lived in Chawton in Hampshire. She was ill for at least a year before she died. Her sister, Cassandra, took her, in her last days, to live at her doctors house in Wichester, close to the precincts of Winchester Cathedral. She died in the home of her doctor on the 18th July 1817. She was 41 years old.

Nobody is absolutely sure of what she died of. It is generally thought, from descriptions of how she looked and felt, in family letters, that it was Addisons disease, which is nowadays treatable. Other theories point to a form of cancer called Hodgkins disease.

here are some pictures of Steventon village and church. Also some pictures of the house where Jane died and her grave in Winchester Cathedral.


  1. Hello Tony,

    Thanks for sharing all your Austen photographs. For those of us who have been to these places, we never tire of seeing them again and again! - for those of us who have not had that chance, we appreciate your sharing her part of England with us.

    I especially liked seeing all the snow you are having there! - almost as much as we get here in Vermont! Isn't winter just grand!


  2. Great pictures, Tony! I'm enjoying your blog. I've also tweeted the link to other Jane Austen enthusiasts on Twitter, I hope you don't mind.

    Jane Travers

  3. Thanks Deb and Jane.
    Jane, I don't mind at all.

  4. This was a lovely post, too! I'm sorry to have missed Steventon on my trip, mainly as it was difficult to get to without a car. Did you see any of the Austen family graves in the church yard?

  5. Hey this is Fabio, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A new fan of Jane Austen but a long time fan of England. I went there in 2005, stayed with 2 lovely English families, your country is adorable!