Another of the places Jane Austen stayed when visiting London, the terraced house at 23 Hans Place was the address her brother Henry moved to from his flat in Covent Garden (see last week’s entry)
Jane stayed at the premises for almost two years over 1814 and 1815 (it was her last known visit to London). Austen, who stayed in a bedchamber at the front of the house on the top floor (a plaque commemorating Jane’s occupancy is located on the building), described the home as “delightful” and expressed her love of the garden.
The house has been considerably altered since although the original property still is said to lie underneath the brick skin now upon it.
It was while Jane was staying there that she was invited by the Prince Regent (later King George IV) – a fan of her writing – to Carlton House on 13th November, 1815, where she was permitted to dedicate one of her future works to him (Emma was duly dedicated the following year).
Henry, meanwhile, lived here until 1816 – the complete collapse of the bank in which he was partner had come in March of that year after which Henry was declared bankrupt. Following the financial disaster, he took up a post as curate at Chawton in Hampshire where the family were based.
While we’re in the area, we should also mention another property around the corner – 64 Sloane Street. It was here that Henry lived before moving to Covent Garden and here that, in April and May 1813, Jane stayed with Henry as his wife Eliza was dying (she passed away on 25th April).
Henry and Eliza had moved into the the Sloane Street property in 1809 (from Brompton) and Jane had visited several times (among the books she worked on while there was Sense and Sensibility).
Both properties were part of the Hans Town development which dated from the late 1770s.
PICTURE: Gwynhafyr/CC BY-NC 2.0