Jane Austen expert Lucy Worsley in tribute at Chawton

By Post in Arts

TELEVISION history presenter Lucy Worsley is to make a poignant appearance at Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton.

The historian, author and curator, who has fronted numerous BBC programmes, and is known for her lively, entertaining style, and a fondness for dressing up in period costume, will be marking an important day for Austen fans.

May 24 is 200 years to the day since Austen left her cottage at Chawton, now the museum, to embark on her final journey to Winchester where she died some weeks later.

To commemorate the occasion, Jane Austen’s House Museum ambassador Lucy will, on that day, lay flowers at the site of the memorial plaque outside in front of the house.

She will pay tribute to the beloved Regency novelist by reading the last letter she wrote from Chawton detailing her ill health and her plans to make the trip to Winchester.

The memorial plaque, which is a highly popular spot for visitor photos, was originally unveiled on the centenary of Austen’s death, on July 18, 1917.

With funding from the Jane Austen Society of North America, the plaque has been recently conserved in time for the bicentenary commemorations.

Jane Austen’s House Museum is of international importance as the place where she spent the last eight years of her life, and wrote or revised all her novels.

A site of significant cultural relevance and a unique source of information on the life and works of Austen, the house retains the charm of a Hampshire village home.

Lucy Worsley is something of an expert on Austen, with her book Jane Austen at Home coming out on May 18.

She read history at Oxford and worked for English Heritage before becoming chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces.