Statue of Jane Austen placed today, 200 years since her death

A life-size bronze of Jane Austen is to be placed in the Market Square in Basingstoke to mark 200 years since the author’s death.

Today is the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen, and all across Hampshire people are celebrating her life and legacy.

Adam Roud has been commissioned to create the sculpture, which he hopes will represent Jane not only as a writer, but also as a strong-willed and independent character in her own right.

Jane was born in 1775 in Steventon, just a few miles outside Basingstoke, where she lived for more than half her life. The places, people and landscapes of the borough had an enormous influence on her novels, and she created the first draft of Pride and Prejudice whilst living at Steventon, where her father was vicar of St Nicholas Church. Jane Austen knew Basingstoke well: she attended social gatherings at the Assembly Rooms in Market Square, near the current-day Lloyds Bank, and regularly visited family friends at the Vyne, Oakley Hall and Ashe House, amongst others.

Many events will be part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Jane Austen 200 project. For up to date information on events visit www.janeausten200.co.uk

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