Jane Austen’s Epitaph

February 25, 2010 — 5 Comments

My sincere apologies to all who periodically checked my blog and found I was only able to write a few times during our time in England.  The primary factors for my infrequent writing were: lack of time, lack of internet availability after our first week and sharing Don’s computer with him.  I was disappointed in not being able to chronicle our experiences while there, but am determined to share some of the highlights with you in the upcoming days and weeks.

I know some who read my blog are Jane Austen fans, so I will tell you it was a great privilege to see the house where she lived after becoming ill, and to see her grave which is inside Winchester Cathedral.  I found the inscription on her gravestone to be beautifully written and filled with deep admiration for her.

Reading this lovely tribute made me think of her, not simply as  someone who wrote great stories, but rather as a real person.  I wondered. . .  what did she like to eat and what were her favorite places to visit?  What made her laugh — and when she laughed, how did it sound?  What was her favorite color, her favorite season?  I wished I could have sat with her and asked about her love for writing and how she found her inspiration.  But most of all, I longed to ask her about her relationship with God.  For upon her grave it states,

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.”

. . . have rendered her soul acceptable in the sight of her REDEEMER.   How awesome is that!  Famous author — tremendous earthly honor!!  Knowing her Redeemer — Eternal reward!

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.

A brass tablet was added at a later date.
Jane Austen. Known to many by her writings, endeared to her family by the varied charms of her character and ennobled by her Christian faith and piety was born at Steventon in the County of Hants, December 16 1775 and buried in the Cathedral July 18 1817. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

5 responses to Jane Austen’s Epitaph

  1. wow… what a beautiful tribute…. such inspiring words. Let it be said of us… “She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

    Can’t wait to hear more of your stories! Welcome back!

    LOVE you!

  2. Thanks for this tidbit, Cheri. Beautiful!

  3. Oh, this is wonderful! I couldn’t imagine a better thing to be said of your life and death. What a beautiful and thought provoking sentiment.

  4. That is so neat, isn’t it? I hope to travel to England one day. I do like Jane Austen and would love to visit Bath, and Steventon, and Chawton…sigh. Maybe one day!

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