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Jane Austen 200

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of globally loved author Jane Austen – and Hampshire Cultural Trust is coordinating a yearlong series of events across the historic and beautiful county to celebrate her creativity and talent.

Hampshire was not only Jane Austen’s birthplace (and where you can visit her grave today), but its people, landscape and the society in which she moved provided inspiration for her novels, classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility. From a landmark exhibition to talks and walks, from picnics to performances, 2017 will be a very special celebration of her life, times and work.

The Mysterious Miss Austen

13 May – 24 July, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre

Presented in partnership with Jane Austen’s House Museum, this landmark exhibition will explore Jane’s life, work and her relationship to Hampshire. The exhibition will include around 80 items, including paintings, watercolours, prints, illustrations, manuscripts, letters, clothing and other objects – all generously loaned from private and public collections in the UK and abroad.

The centrepiece of The Mysterious Miss Austen will be five portraits of Jane together under one roof for the very first time. The pencil and watercolour sketch of Jane by her sister Cassandra Austen (circa 1810) and the hollow cut silhouette by an unknown artist from circa 1810-15 will be familiar to many from their usual home in the National Portrait Gallery, London. However the three other portraits, all from private collections, will probably not be known to visitors: one has not been seen in public for more than 40 years; another is the 1869 James Andrews watercolour over pencil portrait of the author, made famous after her nephew’s biography of his aunt, published in 1870.

Among other treasures on show in The Mysterious Miss Austen will be the manuscript of an alternative ending to her final novel Persuasion in her own hand, on loan from the British Library. The two chapters which will be on display in Hampshire are unique as the only surviving manuscript pages of a novel Jane Austen planned and completed for publication. She subsequently became dissatisfied with this first ending and rewrote the chapters in the published form we have them today. But this first ending offers visitors a chance to glimpse in intimate detail the novelist at work.

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- Jane Austen's Silk Pelisse Coat -

There are only a handful of items that survive today which actually belonged to Jane and can be traced directly back to her – and Hampshire Cultural Trust is fortunate to have three in the collections it cares for. The exhibition will feature her silk pelisse coat, pictured above. The Mysterious Miss Austen will also include her purse and her case for sewing materials.

Bringing a contemporary view, Grayson Perry’s Jane Austen in E17 ceramic vase (2009, Manchester City Art Gallery) is evidence of her lasting legacy and influence on the arts.

Event information

Location: The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre,

Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB

Start date: 13/05/2017

End date: 24/07/2017

Start time: 09:00

End time: 19:00

Price: Free

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am- 3:00pm

Closed bank holidays.

 

During 2017 there will also be smaller scale, sister exhibitions on the life and works of Jane Austen, including:

Jane’s Winchester: Malady and Medicine

13 May – 24 July, City Space, Winchester Discovery Centre

Jane Austen arrived in Winchester on 24 May 1817 to receive treatment for her illness. This exhibition offers a vivid snapshot of the city in that fateful year: the sights and sounds she would have experienced, the hospitals and doctors that treated her, the friends and family who comforted her. Jane mentions in one of her letters being transported around the city in a sedan chair and the exhibition will feature a rare survival of a chair of the period used by patients attending the Winchester hospitals. In addition, Malady and Medicine looks at how Jane portrayed illness in her novels and the sort of treatment her characters could expect at the hands of the medical profession in the Regency period.

Event information

Location: City Space, Winchester Discovery Centre,

Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB

Start date: 13/05/2017

End date: 24/07/2017

Start time: 09:00

End time: 19:00

Price: Free

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am- 3:00pm

Closed bank holidays.


Jane and her Alton Apothecary

3 June – 20 August, The Allen gallery, Alton

When Jane Austen felt unwell her first recourse would have been to consult an apothecary. Today we tend to think of apothecaries as a relic of the middle ages, a cross between a magician and an alchemist, peddling dubious potions that were likely to do more harm than good.  In fact they were the precursors of today’s dispensing chemists, spending up to 7 years training. In the early stages of her illness Jane had been treated by William Curtis, a qualified Apothecary in Alton. His story offers a fascinating insight into the role played by members of this ancient profession within their local communities. It is possible that William himself may have been the model for the character of Mr Perry, the apothecary in Emma, who was said to be ‘an intelligent, gentlemanlike man’.

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- William Curtis -

Event information

Location: Allen Gallery, Church Street,

Alton, GU34 2BW

Start date: 03/06/2017

End date: 20/08/2017

Start time: 10:30

End time: 16:30

Price: Free


The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen: Fighting, Flirting and Fortune

15 July – 20 September, The Gallery, Gosport Discovery Centre

In her later novels, Jane Austen describes a new type of hero, one who has made his own fortune through hard work and intelligence. The inspiration for the naval officers in Mansfield Park and Persuasion undoubtedly came from her brothers, Francis and Charles. Both already making names for themselves in their chosen careers, her brothers were on active service in this golden era of the British Navy - the victorious Battle of Trafalgar had been fought just a few short years before. The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen - fittingly on display at the port of Gosport - will look at the danger and the drama as well as the entertaining and social life aboard ship, through her novels, her letters and contemporary accounts.

Event information

Location: The Gallery, Gosport Discovery Centre,

Walpole Road, Gosport, PO12 1NS

Start date: 15/07/2017

End date: 20/09/2017

Start time: 09:00

End time: 17:00

Price: Free


Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball

29 July - 7 October, The Sainsbury Gallery, Willis Museum

Visitors to this exhibition may be surprised to learn that Jane Austen knew the town of Basingstoke well and attended dances in its Assembly Rooms. Austen wrote about the world she knew, and that most definitely included how one behaved at a ball, what one wore and what one ate – the gentry, the gowns and the gossip will all be explored in this exhibition. She was an avid consumer herself, and her letters evoke the period with descriptions of what she wore and when.

 

Event information

Location: Willis Museum, Sainsbury Gallery, Market Square,

Basingstoke, RG21 7QD

Start date: 29/07/2017

End date: 07/10/2017

Start time: 09:00

End time: 17:00

Price: Free

 

These exhibitions are just a small handful of the events taking place in Hampshire for Jane Austen 200, for the latest news and information visit http://janeausten200.co.uk/