On site and online: Jane Austen on Holiday

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

19 May — 21 Nov 2021

In the summer of 2021, we were 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 explored Jane Austen’s relationship with seaside resorts, from Dawlish and Worthing to Lyme Regis and Brighton. We followed her into the bathing machine, enjoyed a bracing coastal walk, and visited the circulating library – there might even have been a holiday romance!

Highlights on display included 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 also showed illustrations, fashion plates and seaside sketches.

The onsite exhibition is now closed but you can still visit this online version of the exhibition.

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