A section of a letter by Jane Austen has been bought by the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire and is now on display until the end of the year.
The museum managed to raise the £35,000 agreed price for the fragment of letter by the celebrated author, which was sold on behalf of its private owner by London rare books and manuscripts dealer Maggs.
The money was raised with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Stephenson James Charitable Trust, the Walter Guinness Charitable Trust and individual members of the public. The public campaign alone raised over £10,000 over the course of just six weeks, with more than 250 donors from around the world contributing towards saving this small piece of Austen history.
The fragment of letter by Jane Austen will be added to the museum’s collection of 12 of her other letters. Dr Mary Guyatt, Director of Jane Austen’s House Museum, said, “We are thrilled to be able to display this irreplaceable manuscript and we would like to thank the individuals and organisations who have helped to secure its future here. Each new acquisition advances the Museum’s vision to cherish and share Jane Austen’s home, work and legacy as an inspiration to the world.”
The letter was written by Jane Austen to her niece, Anna, in November 1814, when she was living at the cottage in Chawton which now houses the Jane Austen House Museum.