Jane Austen and Basingstoke
Jane Austen was born in the year 1775 near to
Basingstoke in the parish of Steventon.
Her father was rector of the parish and Austen spent the first 25 years of her
life in the village. She was the seventh of eight children in the family and was
educated at home. Her novels marked the transition in English literature to 19th
Jane was a frequent visitor to
Basingstoke and it is well known that she used
to attend dances at the Assembly Rooms in Basingstoke. The building no longer
stands in the town but it was situated just off Market Place in the centre of
town. Austen also was known to dine at the Crown Inn on Winchester Street.
During her time at Steventon, Austen wrote some of her most famous novels, but
it took her 15 years to find a publisher to produce her books. during the years
1796-1798 she wrote Sense and Sensibility , Pride and Prejudice
and Northanger Abbey.
It was also during
this period that Jane had her first romance with a local man.
The couple were engaged to be married, but the engagement only lasted one night
as Austen changed her mind and broke off the engagement the next morning. Jane
left Steventon in 1801 when her family moved to Bath. During the following years
the family moved between Southampton, Chawton and finally Winchester. In the
year 1817 Jane Austen died from Addison's disease and was buried at Winchester
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