Jane Austen is one of the most famous novelists in the world and anything with a link to her life attracts huge interest.
Jane Austen was born in Steventon, just a few miles from Basingstoke, and she lived there for more than half her life. The places, people and landscapes of the area had an enormous influence on her novels and she drafted Pride and Prejudice whilst living in Steventon. Basingstoke was where she went to shop – and to dance. This local heritage is not well-known, Sitting With Jane is about to change this.
Sitting With Jane combines the celebration of local culture and history with a creative, modern interpretation that will appeal to all. It will attract wide media attention both on and off line, making Basingstoke the unlikely unsung hero in her life story.
Sitting with Jane is a public art trail made up of 24 ‘BookBenches’ in and around Basingstoke, each uniquely designed and painted by a professional artist with their personal interpretation of a Jane Austen theme. The trail will link together locations – all with free public access. It will be in place between June and September 2017, and will be accompanied by a free to download app and a trail guide.
After, the benches will all be auctioned in aid of our charity partner, Ark Cancer Centre Charity, to leave a valuable lasting legacy in the region.
Sitting With Jane is part of the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s celebration of Jane Austen’s life in Hampshire. Find out about other activities and events in the area.