Jane Austen made a symbolic return to her beloved Chawton with the unveiling in the churchyard of an elegant bronze statue, a small replica of the life sized one in Basingstoke.
2017 marked 200 years since Jane Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817. A bronze life-sized statue of Jane was unveiled on the anniversary of her death in Basingstoke.
The sculptor Adam Roud said it represented Jane as a “daughter and a sister” as she walked through the town. “We have all the hoo-ha about Jane Austen the author – and rightly so – but she’s a real person and that made me a bit more connected to the idea of her just walking here.”
Found in the Market Place, Jane lived in Steventon and when she was 17 years old, she and Cassandra would get together with their friends and family to dance at the Assembly Rooms above the Town Hall.
Just before her 18th Birthday on November 14, 1793, Jane met the new Mrs Chute at one of the balls held here. She had married Thomas Chute, a family friend who had inherited The Vyne.
Jane Austen’s Twin Unveiled
This original statue was so popular that a smaller bronze replica was created and unveiled on June 8, 2018. Presented on a plinth, the statue can be seen at the entrance to the Churchyard of St Nicholas here in Chawton.
What Jane looked like has been a source of great debate amongst academics, as the only drawing of Jane is the one created by her sister Cassandra. What do you think?