Jane Austen’s House


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen ranks among the most famous British writers in history.  I enjoy Jane Austen’s books, but for the strangest reason, I cannot remember the inside of her home in Chawton, even though I saw it in 2010.  I only remember watching a short video about her life while I was there.  Fortunately, there is a website that allows you to take virtual tours of the home.

Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, England

Jane Austen lived in several different homes, but her home in Chawton, England became a museum in 1949, because that is where Austen lived when she published her books.  Austen’s father was an Anglican reverend. However, he passed away when Jane was 30 years-old, making the fears of Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice come true for Austen and her mother and sister.  Without an income, the three women could not stay in their home in Bath, so had to move to Southampton, where they lived with a friend and a sister-in-law (the wife of Jane’s brother, Frank, who was serving in the navy at the time).

In 1809, Austen’s brother, Edward, let his mother, sisters, and their friend live in an extra home that he had recently inherited from a wealthy relative.  This is the home in Chawton, where Austen lived until a little before her death.  After becoming ill, she moved to Winchester to be nearer to her doctor, but unfortunately, this did not save her life.  She passed away in 1817 at the age of 41.  Her exact illness and cause of death remain a mystery.

I visited Austen’s home in Chawton during the winter, which is when the home is only opened on the weekends.  Despite the cold, green pastures surrounded the beautiful countryside.  During my time in Chawton, I walked to the nearby St. Nicholas Church and saw the graves of Jane Austen’s mother and sister, who were both named Cassandra.  After seeing Austen’s house, I rode the bus for about thirty minutes to see Winchester Cathedral, where Austen is buried.  Fortunately, Austen’s grave is in the sanctuary, because when I visited, the Cathedral’s crypt below had apparently flooded.

The landscape near Jane Austen’s home in Chawton, England

Austen published six novels total, two of which were published after her death. Her most famous novel is, undoubtedly, Pride and Prejudice, which was published in 1813.  Although she lived over two centuries ago, Austen’s popularity remains strong.  Almost every year, it seems like a new book or movie inspired by one of her works is released.  Jane Austen may have lived a different life than most of us today, but her wit and character descriptions remain universal.

Winchester Cathedral is where Jane Austen is buried.
This home near Jane Austen’s house had a fake cat on its roof!

Sources and Further Reading

“Chawton.” Jane Austen’s House. https://janeaustens.house/explore/our-local-area/ (accessed May 7, 2021).

“Jane Austen: A Life.” Jane Austen’s House. https://janeaustens.house/jane-austen-a-life/ (accessed May 7, 2021).

“Jane Austen’s House: 350 Degrees Virtual Tour.” Jane Austen’s House. https://www.pan3sixty.co.uk/virtual-tours/jane-austens-house/virtual-tour.html#chawton_village_street (accessed May 7, 2021).

“A Short History of Jane Austen’s House.” Jane Austen’s House. https://janeaustens.house/a-short-history-of-jane-austens-house/ (accessed May 7, 2021).


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