On site and online: Jane Austen on Holiday

“A little sea-bathing would set me up for ever.” - Pride & Prejudice

19 May — 31 Dec 2021

This year, we are all longing for a holiday…

Jane Austen knew the feeling. In 1805 she wrote to her sister Cassandra ‘I dare say You are already the better for change of place’ – showing that she understood how a change of location can benefit our happiness and wellbeing.

In this mini exhibition, we explore Jane Austen’s relationship with seaside resorts, from Dawlish and Worthing to Lyme Regis and Brighton. We’ll follow her into the bathing machine, enjoy a bracing coastal walk, and visit the circulating library – there might even be a holiday romance!

Highlights on display will include our copy of Sanditon, Jane Austen’s unfinished seaside novel, handwritten by her sister Cassandra in three green notebooks, alongside a first edition of Persuasion, with its glorious ‘tourist brochure’ description of Lyme Regis. We’ll also be showing illustrations, fashion plates and seaside sketches.

And for those that cannot make it to Chawton, an online version of the exhibition can be enjoyed from home!

The exhibition will feature a fair copy of Sanditon, handwritten by Cassandra Austen in three green notebooks