Jane Austen and Alton
Jane Hurst

Cover of Jane Austen and Alton

A Walk round Jane Austen's Alton

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Paperback - 36 pages
Jane Hurst; 2001 & 2004

Associated titles: Alton Papers 5 , Alton Papers 6 , Alton Papers 7 , Alton Papers 8 , Alton Papers 9 , Alton Papers 10 , Alton Papers 14 , Miss Bell's Fountains , Alton's Inns , Alton's Pubs , Alton's Motor Traders, part 1 , Alton's Motor Traders, part 2 , Hartley Mauditt House


Introduction

"I walked to Alton, & dirt excepted, found it delightful".

Jane Austen moved into the village of Chawton in July 1809. Twenty years later, it was described as 'a small village and parish, in the same hundred as Alton, about a mile west of that town. It is deserving notice as containing the beautiful seat of Edward Knight, Esq. The mansion is an elegant modern erection [it is basically a Tudor house!], and the grounds are laid out with great taste and diversity; from the park, which is on the side of a hill about a mile distant, may be seen the Isle of Wight hills, more than 30 miles distant.'

Alton was the local market town and lay within walking distance of Chawton. It was described, less than 20 years before Jane and her family arrived in the area, as:-
'a pleasant healthy town, on the great Western road from London through Farnham, to Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It consists of three streets, the principal of which is wide, and modern built. It has a small, but neat church; and the river Wye [sic - it is actually the River Wey] runs through the town.'
During the years that Jane lived in Chawton, she came to Alton in order to shop and to board the coaches that took her on her various visits to friends and relations. Several members of the Austen family also lived in Alton at different times. Her brother Frank and his family lived in Lenten Street and the High Street, while her niece, Anna, lived at Wyards after her marriage to Benjamin Lefroy.


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