What’s coming up… summer and autumn events

A quick roundup of our busy events programme over the next few months… we can’t wait to welcome you, whether at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton or online!

With school holidays in full swing, we’re settling into our summer stride. Visitors are enjoying relaxing in the garden, playing games, eating ice creams and dressing up. But if you fancy something a bit different this summer, we’ve got you covered!

We love showing off our beautiful village of Chawton on our regular Village Walks. Grab your trainers and join us on 27 August and 18 September for a relaxed literary stroll, learning all about Jane Austen’s life here as you go.

If you fancy getting creative, make sure you book onto our fabulous embroidery workshop. You , embroider a gorgeous handkerchief inspired by the one Jane embroidered for Cassandra, and make something truly beautiful, as well as learn a relaxing, creative new craft.

As we move into the autumn we’re looking forward to getting back to school with our Virtual book Club – join us online for passionate discussion about Jane Austen’s last two published novels, Northanger Abbey (6 September) and Persuasion (4 October).

And speaking of online, if you’ve enjoyed Jane Austen Undressed you may be excited to hear we are teaming up with The Vagina Museum for a fascinating online talk on 24 September. Period Drama! will get up close and personal with Georgian women: what they wore, how they washed themselves and their clothes, and how they coped with menstruation, menopause and disease.

Pictured: (left/right) Rebecca Wood and Lizzie Dunford with the Colin Firth shirt and (on left) a petticoat worn by Elizabeth Bennet, (made famous by its “six inches deep in mud”), also from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and (on right) Emma Woodhouse’s stays, worn by Anya Taylor Joy in the 2020 film adaptation of Emma on show at the Jane Austen's House, Museum in Chawton, Hampshire.

It was once voted the most memorable moment in British TV drama history.  Now fans of Colin Firth's iconic portrayal of Pride and Prejudice's Mr Darcy can see in the flesh the famous sodden white shirt in which he enchanted Elizabeth Bennet.

But ardent admirers of both the classic novel and the Oscar-winning actor have been teasingly warned that hugging the garment would be a step too far.  The shirt is the centrepiece of a major new exhibition opening today (Saturday) at Jane Austen's House in Hampshire.  SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS.

© Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency
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Jane Austen Undressed runs until 2 October. Catch it onsite or online

We’re looking forward to a joint House Highlights Tour with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in October, and we’ll be finishing the month with a Virtual ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Tour to mark the 211th anniversary of its publication.

We’re also looking forward to kicking off a new series of Creative Residencies, welcoming emerging artists in all disciplines to create new works inspired by Jane Austen’s life, works and legacy. The first of our Reimagine Residents will be Jordan Mitchell-King, a dress historian and maker who researches the cultures and the embodied experiences of clothing in the past. She’ll be setting up a sewing room at the House on 28-29 October and stitching in situ – drop in to say hello and chat about all things Regency!