A brief history of Jane Austen
and the Museum
taken from http://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/
Jane Austen was born on the 16 December 1775
at the rectory in the Hampshire village of Steventon to the Reverend
George Austen and his wife, Cassandra.
Jane, the seventh of eight children, had six brothers and one elder
sister Cassandra. The family moved to Bath on her father's retirement
in 1801. In 1809 she moved to this house (below) with her widowed
mother and sister.
Until she was settled in Chawton none of Jane's work had been published.
The period that she lived here was the most prolific and productive
of her life. She revised Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice,
which she had written some years earlier, and then wrote Mansfield
Park, Emma and Persuasion.
Late in 1816 she became ill and in May 1817 she and Cassandra rented
rooms in Winchester to be nearer to her physician. There was no
cure for the illness and she died on the 18 July 1817. She is buried
in Winchester Cathedral.
The house was lived in by Mrs Austen and Cassandra
until Mrs Austen died in 1827. Cassandra remained there alone until
she died in 1845 when the house was divided into three cottages
for farm workers. One hundred years later the house was bought by
Mr T. Edward Carpenter in memory of his son, Philip, who was killed
in the Second World War. He founded the Jane Austen Memorial Trust
which owns and administers the house that was first opened as a
museum in 1949.