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Jane Austen’s Writing Table

Jane Austen's table

It was here that Jane Austen wrote her novels.

This little table is perhaps the most iconic item associated with Jane Austen and her writing, because it was here that Jane Austen wrote her novels.

Her early novels were drafted while she lived in the Hampshire village of Steventon, but it was at this table that she revised them, including her most famous work “Pride and Prejudice”.

Many people are moved to tears when they see it, realising the great works of genius which were produced at it. She wrote on very small pieces of paper and compared her work to that of a miniaturist – “the two inches of ivory on which I write with so fine a brush”.

Jane's life was lived in modest terms financially, certainly compared to some of her rich relations, and this delicate but humble piece of furniture epitomises that, but also acts as a contrast to the outstanding literary achievement of the owner.

Quick Facts

  • Dimensions Diameter 47cm, Height 65cm, Base spread 45cm
  • Made in the early 18th century
  • Made of walnut wood
  • Accession number CHWJA:JAH69
  • Table returned to Jane Austen's House 1949

Facts

  • The table was bought from a grandson of James Goodchild, who lived in Chawton village in Jane Austen’s time. His brother-in-law, Mr Littleworth, was employed by Mrs George Austen, Jane’s mother, and when he was too old to work she furnished a cottage for him. Among the furniture was this table.
  • Jane Austen’s writing table has an octagonal table top on a baluster and acorn turned column and scroll tripod supports.
  • The more rounded cross belongs to Jane and the longer one is Cassandra's.

Did you know?

Jane Austen used a quill pen to write her novels at this table. In the old kitchen at Jane Austen’s House Museum visitors get the opportunity to write with a quill.

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