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Priceless Jane Austen artefacts are to go on show at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke next year.

Items such as the famous author’s writing desk, spectacles and a manuscript of one of her early works will be on display, giving fans of her work an insight into her short life. The loan for the exhibition was secured by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, who worked with the British Library and Basingstoke MP Maria Miller to bring the items to the county.

This exhibition will mark the launch of Jane Austen 200, which is a theme set to run throughout 2017, in order to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the writer’s death. This will include a variety of activities which will be scheduled to take place across the county at various museums and arts venues. Cosy holiday cottages in Hampshire can provide the perfect base for those looking to attend these events, as well as other areas of the county that are related to Jane Austen and her works.

Jane Austen's Life in Hampshire

The author spent her last eight years living in Basingstoke, with her former home now a museum. It was here at this house in Steventon that she wrote masterpieces such as Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, which are some of her most well-known novels. Those really interested in her life can also view her resting place when visiting Winchester Cathedral, which is accompanied by an illustrated outline of her life and death in the county.

In an article by the Daily Echo, Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “It will be a fantastic coup for Hampshire, to bring some of Jane Austen’s most important possessions back to the place where she lived and worked. Our aim is to bring the best items and exhibits from across the world to Hampshire, complementing the amazing home-grown arts and culture we have on our doorstep.”

Image Credit: Thalita Carvalho (