A precious letter by Jane Austen is currently for sale and Jane Austen’s House Museum urgently needs your help to save the letter for the public. We have until 31 July 2019 to raise £10,000 towards the purchase cost.
The Museum has secured a proportion of the £35,000 negotiated purchase price, and we have until 31 July 2019 to raise another £10,000 towards the cost of this rare and important fragment. If we are unsuccesful, the letter could be lost to private hands.
The letter, dated 29 November 1814, was written by Jane during a visit to London, where she was staying at her brother Henry’s home. The letter was subsequently dismembered into five portions (two of which are now lost, one is in the British Library and one is in private hands); the piece that we are aiming to rescue is the principal portion, consisting of the first 40 lines.
Addressed to Anna Austen, Austen’s much loved Hampshire niece, the letter mentions Jane’s Chawton home (now the Museum) and includes interesting glimpses into family detail and social history.
A comment about family connections, ‘I like first Cousins to be first Cousins, & interested about each other. They are but one remove from Br. & Sr.‘ It is reminiscent of Mansfield Park, a particularly pleasing connection since Jane was in London to discuss a second edition of Mansfield Park.
The letter finishes with a trip to the theatre and a typically Austenian quip, ‘I took two Pocket handkerchiefs, but had very little occasion for either.’
Please give generously today to ensure that this irreplacable letter can be kept for Jane Austen fans everywhere.
Please donate here: