Summer exhibition: Jane Austen on Holiday

Introducing our Summer exhibition - to be enjoyed at the House as well as online!
A calm by James Gillray

A Calm

James Gillray © The Trustees of the British Museum

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 in our new Courtyard Gallery, 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!

The Courtyard Gallery at Jane Austen's House

The Courtyard Gallery at Jane Austen’s House


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.

Handwritten copy of Sanditon

Handwritten copy of Sanditon


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