Letter from Cassandra Austen to Fanny Knight, 29 July 1817

Object name: Letter from Cassandra Austen to Fanny Knight, 29 July 1817

Object number: CHWJA:JAHLTR.36

Category: Letters

Description: Letter from Cassandra E. Austen to Fanny Knight, 29 July 1817. A single sheet of paper, folded in half to make four pages, all of which have been written upon.

Made: 1817

Context: Jane Austen died in the early hours of 18 July 1817, at No. 8 College Street, Winchester, where she and her sister Cassandra had been lodging. As was the custom of the time, before the coffin was closed Cassandra cut off several locks of her hair for family mementos.

Jane was buried in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral early in the morning of 24th July, and in this letter of 29 July Cassandra tells her niece Fanny Knight about the funeral, and asks her how she would like the lock of hair to be mounted. Fanny’s reply, a few days later, was that she would like the lock of hair set in an oval brooch, with pearls, bearing Jane’s name and the date of her death.

Credit: This object was purchased in 2015 with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries.

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