Jane Austen died in Winchester, Hampshire, on 18th July, 1817, at the age of just 41. She was buried in the city’s cathedral but a small tablet was unveiled in Westminster Abbey to mark her death 150 years later.
Located in Poets’ Corner in the abbey’s south transept, the small tablet was erected on 17th December, 1967, by the Jane Austen Society. Made of polished Roman stone, it simply bears her name and year of birth – 1775 – and year of death.
The tablet was placed on the lefthand side of the (much larger) memorial to William Shakespeare and below that of lexicographer Samuel Johnson.
This is the final in our series on Jane Austen’s London – we’ll be starting a new series shortly.
WHERE: Westminster Abbey (nearest Tube station is Westminster and St James’s Park); WHEN: Various – check website; COST: £22 adults/£17 concessions/£9 chirldren (6-16)/five and under free (check website for more options); WEBSITE: www.westminster-abbey.org
PICTURE: Carcharoth (Commons)/CC BY-SA 3.0 (image cropped)
Literary history was made in London 80 years ago this month – on 21st September, 1937 – when George Allen & Unwin Ltd published JRR Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit.
The initial print run of 1,500, which featured black and white illustrations and a dust jacket designed by Tolkien himself, had sold out by December. It was released in the US the following year and was subsequently republished in the UK was published in numerous new editions.
George Allen & Unwin, which was founded by George Allen in 1871 and became George Allen & Unwin when Stanley Unwin purchased a controlling interest in 1914, went on to publish Tolkien’s follow-up epic, The Lord of the Rings, in the 1950s after Unwin suggested a sequel based on the popularity of the first.
The publishing company, which also published the likes of everyone from Bertrand Russell to Roald Dahl, was based at Ruskin House in Museum Street in Bloomsbury at the time of the publication.
The company now lives on as an Australian company, Allen & Unwin Australia Pty Ltd.