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Jane Austen's Will

Posted by Delia Cabe  September 28, 2011 08:37 AM

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Serendipity! Stashed away among all those photos of cats and cupcakes on Flickr, I happened to come across this photo of Jane Austen's will, which was posted by the National Archives UK. Her health failing, she wrote it three months before her death at age 41. She left most of her estate--"everything"-- to her sister, Cassandra, but provided a few legacies.

Austen was buried in Winchester Cathedral, with four people in attendance.

Jane Austen's Will

Her gravestone, Winchester Cathedral:

Here's what it says, but her literary contributions are left out:

In Memory of JANE AUSTEN, youngest daughter of the late Revd GEORGE AUSTEN, formerly Rector of Steventon in this County. She departed this Life on the 18th of July 1817, aged 41, after a long illness supported with the patience and the hopes of a Christian. The benevolence of her heart, the sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind obtained the regard of all who knew her and the warmest love of her intimate connections. Their grief is in proportion to their affection, they know their loss to be irreparable, but in their deepest affliction they are consoled by a firm though humble hope that her charity, devotion, faith and purity have rendered her soul acceptable in the sight of her REDEEMER.

You can read about her life here and several of Austen's novels online.

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About the author

Delia Cabe's work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Self, Prevention, Scientific American Presents, and other publications. In between posts, you can read Cabe's tweets at!/DeliaCabe, More »

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