#On This Day – Jane Austen

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

#OnThisDay

On the 18th of July 1817 Jane Austen died aged 41. She left her portable writing desk, which was a gift from her father in 1794, to her sister Cassandra. There is an anecdote that Jane almost lost her writing desk, whilst travelling in 1798, when it was transferred to the wrong horse-drawn carriage. The writing desk was passed down through the Austen family before being entrusted to the British Library by Jane Austen’s great-great-great niece in 1999. It is supposed that Jane wrote many of her books upon her writing desk, including ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’ which were published posthumously in 1818, whilst ‘Sanditon’ and ‘The Watsons’ were left uncompleted.

Want to know what links Jane Austen’s writing desk to Elizabethan wax tablet books, Thomas Jefferson’s polygraph, and the author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson?

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