My dear Cassandra….

22 Mar — 29 Oct 2023

Jane’s sister Cassandra was her best friend and confidante throughout her life. Nearly three years older than Jane, Cassandra was pretty, practical and sensible. Tragedy befell her early when her fiancé died at sea and she never married, instead devoting her life to her family.

Here in Chawton, Cassandra took on the household management, leaving Jane time and space to write. When Jane fell ill, Cassandra was her nurse and companion; when she died, Cassandra was her executor and looked after her literary estate.

Before her death Cassandra destroyed many of Jane’s surviving letters, an act which was much criticised by later generations of critics although today it is believed that she acted to protect Jane’s memory and reputation.

This display showcases three objects that link Cassandra with Jane’s legacy and show the deep love and lifelong friendship between the two sisters, as well as a newly acquired letter from Jane to Cassandra, written from Steventon on 27 – 28 October 1798.

This display runs from 22 March – 29 October 2023 and is free with House entry. 

If you can’t make it to Chawton, an online version of the exhibition can be found here. 💻