Sunday 16 December 2012

Jane's Birthday 16th December 1775

Jane  Austen was  born to Cassandra and George  Austen at Steventon rectory in Hampshire on the  16th  December 1775. 

In the village of Selborne, some fifteen miles from  Steventon, the naturalist Gilbert  White wrote about  the winter of 1775 in Hampshire. He said  that the Winter of 1775 was a hard one. On 11th November ,  White wrote that the trees around his Hampshire village of Selborne had almost lost all their leaves. “Trees begin to be naked,” he wrote in his diary.

So the weather was severe and must have made giving birth a much harder task, but Jane Austen was born, a healthy and vibrant child into a noisy  world of brothers and frost.

I was visiting my mother and father in Southampton today. On my way back to Wimbledon I thought I would call in at Chawton and  take some pictures of Jane's cottage on her birthday. 

The  weather in Chawton today is  not  at all like Steventon 237 year ago. It is sunny and bright and blue skied. Over the last few days we have had frost and temperatures at -2 degrees centigrade  but not today. Today the sun is out.



  1. Thanks for sharing these _sunny_ photos Tony! The powers that be must know it is here birthday!

  2. Tony, I love your photos. Visiting your blog always feels like a little trip to England (home of my heart)!

  3. Thanks Jean and Deb. Loved your post by the way, Deb.

    This will make the two of you laugh.

    I was in Southampton by myself.Marilyn, Sam and the girls were busy. I wanted to check up on my mum and dad. My youngest brother lives in Southampton and checks up on them daily but he is on holiday at the moment,, hence I was on my own.

    I arrived in Chawton about 12am. I was just about to take a picture of the cottage whenI saw two ladies approaching Cassandras Tea Shop. Employing my best manners I asked if one of them could take a picture of me with my camera in front of the cottage. They were Americans no less,, and when I said, "It''s her birthday today, you kow," they replied,
    "We know," with big grins.
    I told them I was going to post it on my blog later for the world to see and they were most impressed.