Sunday, 15 December 2013

JANE AUSTEN born 16th December 1775

238 today!!!!! 238 today!!!!!

Happy Birthday Jane!!!!

Have a great one.

This is The Dolphin Hotel in Southampton where  on the 16th December 1793 Jane Austen celebrated her 18th birthday.

Fifteen years later, after moving from Bath and whilst living in Castle Square Southampton,with her mother, Cassandra her sister , Martha Lloyd her best friend and her brother Frank and his wife Mary, she attended another ball at The Dolphin.It was probably on 8th December 1808 because on the 9th December she wrote to Cassandra about it.  It was eight days before her 33rd  birthday. 

Writing to Cassandra, who was staying with Edward in Godmersham Park in Kent, she said,

"Our ball was rather more amusing than I expected,Martha liked it very much,and I did not gape till the last quarter of an hour.-It was past nine before we were sent for,and not twelve when we returned.-The room was tolerably full,and there were perhaps thirty couples of Dancers;-the melancholy part was to see so many dozen young Women standing by without partners,and each of them with two ugly naked shoulders!-It was the same room in which we danced 15 years ago!-I thought it all over- and inspite of the shame of being so much older, felt with thankfulness that I was quite as happy now as then.-We paid an additional shilling for our Tea, which we took as we chose in adjoining,and very comfortable room.-There were only four dances and it went to my heart that the Miss Lances(one of them too named Emma!) should have partners only for two.-You will not expect to hear that I was asked to dance- but I was- by the Gentleman whom we met that Sunday with Captain D'auvergne."

The ballroom in The Dolphin.

Another view of the ballroom today.

A view from one of the bay windows.


  1. Hi Tony. this might interest you

  2. Tony, I so loved this post! Think about it - we don't have a lot of hotels in the US that have been there since 1793!

    1. Hi Jean. The Dolphin has been bought by a hotel chain. I forget which one. It is a good four star hotel. It is very comfortable. However, I think you could do something with the cuisine!!!! Have a great Christmas.

      Frgot to mention.This Summer they held a jane Austen ball.

      For some reason, although Southampton was an important interlude in Jane's life, it is very seldom added to Jane Austen tours. I can never work that out. She wrote a lot of letters from Southampton so we get a good sense of her life there, the people she knew and the places she visited.
      Bath, seems to take most of the limelight and she didn't even like Bath. Chawton of course and various sites such as Steventon retain their pre-eminence.