Jane Austen - Henrietta Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.663 W 000° 07.415
30U E 699592 N 5710581
Quick Description: A City of Westminster green plaque, to the novelist Jane Austen, is mounted on a building on the south east side of Henrietta Street a short walk from London's Covent Garden.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/8/2014 7:58:06 AM
Waymark Code: WMM84G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bill&ben
Views: 3

Long Description:

The City of Westminster green plaque tells us:

City of Westminster

1775 - 1817
stayed here
1813 - 1814

Jane Austen Society 1999

The Biography website tells us:

Jane Austen was a Georgian era author, best known for her social commentary in novels including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. While not widely known in her own time, Austen's comic novels of love among the landed gentry gained popularity after 1869, and her reputation skyrocketed in the 20th century. Her novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, are considered literary classics, bridging the gap between romance and realism.

The Seeking Jane Austen website tells us:

Jane Austen visited London many times, but the most important occasions were when, in her late 30s, she was becoming a celebrated author and needed to visit her publishers and correct proofs. Conveniently she stayed with her brother Henry, who also helped her in the negotiations to sell her books. Two of Henry’s series of residences, one at Covent Garden, and one behind Harrods in Knightsbridge, are significant and are also easy for the present-day fan to view on a trip to the capital.

Jane’s brother Henry, her elder by four years, became a banker in London following a short Army career. The bank Austen, Maunde and Tilson had a couple of a short-lived premises before settling at 10 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, from 1807-1816.
Henry lived in various London houses with his wife Eliza, and they were visited by many  family members including Jane, who enjoyed shopping, socialising and visiting the theatre.
Eliza died in 1813 and we know from her letters that Jane was in London with Henry very soon afterwards. This may have been to support her recently-widowed brother, but this was also the year in which Pride and Prejudice was published, so there may have been business with publishers too.
She was in London again just four months later when Henry  moved to live over the bank in Henrietta Street, and she revisited after another six months. At this time, Mansfield Park was being published.   Shortly after this visit, Henry moved to Hans Place, near Knightsbridge, where he had bought No. 23.  We know Jane was there twice in 1814 and then from October - December 1815, a visit prolonged because Henry became seriously ill.
This time Emma was in publication and, because Henry was too unwell to help, Jane dealt with the publisher herself.
Henry recovered his health but just a few months later the bank crashed, he was made bankrupt, and he sold his London house.  He took Holy Orders and became curate at Chawton, where Jane, her mother and sister were living.
No further visits by Jane to London are recorded.

Blue Plaque managing agency: City of Westminster

Individual Recognized: Jane Austen

Physical Address:
10 Henrietta Street
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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