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The South Sights

Jane Austen's House

  • Winchester Rd. Map It
  • House/Mansion/Villa
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 05/28/2014

Fodor's Review

Here, in an unassuming redbrick house, Jane Austen wrote Emma, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park, and revised Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Pride and Prejudice. Now a museum, the house retains the modest but genteel atmosphere suitable to the unmarried daughter of a clergyman. In the drawing room, there's a piano similar to the one Jane would play every morning before repairing to a small writing table in the family dining parlor—leaving

her sister, Cassandra, to do the household chores ("I find composition impossible with my head full of joints of mutton and doses of rhubarb," Jane wrote). In the early 19th century the road near the house was a bustling thoroughfare, and one traveler reported that a window view proved that the Misses Austen were "looking very comfortable at breakfast." Jane was famous for working through interruptions, but one protection against the outside world was the famous door that creaked. She asked that its hinges remain unattended to because they gave her warning that someone was coming. It's often closed for special events, so call ahead.

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Sight Information

Address:

Winchester Rd., signed off A31/A32 roundabout, Chawton, GU34 1SD, England

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Phone:

01420-83262

Sight Details:

  • £7.50
  • Jan.–mid-Feb., weekends 10:30–4:30; mid-Feb.–May and Sept.–Dec., daily 10:30–4:30; June–Aug., daily 10–5; last admission 30 mins before closing

Updated 05/28/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

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Dec 20, 2013

Fraudulent museum

The Jane Austen House Museum is set up as a fraud to deceive the public into believing that Jane Austen wrote the novels that bear her name. As Nicholas Ennos shows in his recently published book "Jane Austen - a New Revelation" the novels were in fact written by her cousin, Eliza de Feuillide. Eliza could not publish them under her own name as she was the secret illegitimate daughter of Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India. The novels

were not published from this house, as is falsely claimed on a plaque on the house, but from the home of Eliza de Feuillide in London. There is no evidence that the poorly educated Jane Austen wrote the novels. All of the manuscripts were destroyed and most of Jane Austen's letters and all of Eliza's letters were destroyed by the Austen family to conceal her authorship. What is told to you at the museum is little more than a fairy tale.

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