Steventon Parsonage redux

When I wrote the previous post on the Steventon Parsonage, I looked in vain for a copy of a pamphlet I have [or was sure I had!] titled Steventon and the Austens:  Jane Austen bi-centenary 1775-1975, written by Keith Irons.  This is the souvenir booklet and programme for the July 18- July 27, 1975 Jane Austen celebration in Steventon.  Well, I could not find it, and thus did not have much data on the new Rectory that was built by Edward Knight for his son William Knight, the rector who took over the curacy from Henry Austen in 1823, or the Manor House referred to in various sources. – but as always one finds things when not actually looking for the particular item madly searched for a week ago – and so here it is, on my reading table, and has been there for a bit, out of place, but now happily found…

So I can give more information on the new Rectory that was built in 1826 after the demolition of Austen’s own home, and the subject of the auction sale in the news article found in my book.  But as you will see, I am more confused than ever! I quote from this pamphlet directly:

Edward Knight remained in possession of the estate until 1855 [Edward Knight died in 1852] when he sold it to the second Duke of Wellington, who in turn sold it in 1877 to a Mr. Henry Harris.  Mr. Harris, a man of considerable wealth, farmed the estate himself and built a substantial new manor house of red brick with cottages surrounding it, and a new farm house and outbuildings now known as Home Farm.  Before this the estate had been farmed by the Digweed family who had been tenants and had lived at the old manor house for nearly 100 years.  The estate remained in the possession of the Harris family until 1910 when it was sold to Mr. Robert Mills.  In 1932 the brick manor house was damaged by fire with the residential quarters being completely gutted.  The then owner, Mr. Onslow Fane, decided to add a new wing to the old Tudor manor rather than to rebuild the Victorian one.  [This old Tudor manor was called Steventon Manor House, and the Digweeds lived here  – Edward Knight owned it as it was part of the estate…David Cecil has a picture of this house in his Portrait of Jane Austen, but it is also misnamed as the Chawton Great House (p.159)…] 

He [Mr. Fane] lived in it briefly before the house was requisitioned by military authorities during the war, but it was never reoccupied afterwards which contributed largely to its decay, leading to its eventual demolition [in 1970].  The servant’s wing of the Victorian manor, undamaged by the fire in 1932, still stands, but it is now used only as a machinery store and barn; although it will have one brief period of glory again when it serves as a threatre during the Jane Austen bi-centenary celebrations.  [Irons, Steventon and the Austens, 1975]

 Irons says the new rectory that Edward Knight built in 1826 was on the other side of the valley on an elevated site, so this is the reference as in the previous post that is the house for sale last October.  There is mention also of the cottages that “straddled the lane toward the village” and home to Mrs. Littlewort, Jane Austen’s Nanny and mentioned in her letters.  Anna LeFroy also sketched these cottages, but they, according to Irons “disappeared in the mid 1820s, demolished for spoiling the view from the new Rectory, it would seem.”  

 I also quote here Constance Hill’s description of Steventon, the Rectory and the Manor House, in her book Jane Austen, Her homes and Friends [London 1904] – [and also titled Jane Austen: her Houses and Haunts] – the full-text of the 1923 edition is available online at A Celebration of Women Writers – read this book if you can – it is a delightful account of traveling to various Austen sites, coupled with references to Austen’s letters and works:  here is a portion of the Steventon chapters, complete with drawings: 

Leaving the park, the road turns abruptly to the right, and we find ourselves entering the sunny village of Steventon, which lies in a gentle hollow. We alight from our chaise and walk between the gardens of pretty cottages that border the road. These cottages, it seems, form the village, and passing them we proceed along Steventon Lane. A knoll, on the left, is surmounted by the new rectory, and on the right, green fields and woods cover a hillside, on the top of which, we are told, we shall find the church. Presently we reach a meadow at the foot of the hill and notice that the ground slopes up to a grassy terrace. This is the place! We cannot mistake it. This is the site of the old parsonage-house where Jane Austen was born! For her nephew tells us that “along the upper or southern side of the garden ran a terrace of the finest turf.” There is the very terrace described! We know that the house stood between it and the lane, but what is the exact site? Can no one tell us? May there not be some person yet living who remembers the parsonage pulled down in 1826?

Inspired by this idea, we hurry back to the cottages and speculate upon each open door as to what might be gained from its dark interior. At last we see an old man leaning on his garden-gate.

“Can you tell us,” we anxiously inquire, “where the old parsonage stood in which the Austen family lived long ago?”

“Ay, that I can,” he exclaims: “maybe you’ve seen the field at the corner where the church lane cooms out o’ Steventon Lane? Well, if you saw that, did you notice a pump in the middle o’ the field?”

“Yes, yes!”

“Well, that pump stood i’ the washhouse at the back o’ the parsonage. There’s a well under the pump. The Austens got their water from that well. I was a little ‘un when the old house was pulled down, but I well recollect seeing all the bricks and rubbish lyin’ about on the ground.”

“The house faced the road, did it not?” we ask.

“Yes; and the gates o’ the drive were at the corner o’ the field, between the church lane and Steventon Lane. I remember when you could make out the line o’ the drive quite well, ’cause the grass grew poor and thin where the gravel had been.”

Presently we learn that our informant’s grandfather, whose name was Littlewart, was coachman to Mr. James Austen, Jane’s eldest brother.

” I used to hear a deal about the Austens when I was a lad,” continued our friend. “from my mother, for she was a god-daughter o’ Miss Jane’s. People tell me now that Miss Jane wrote some fine stories, and I’ve just seen her name in a newspaper. I’ll go and fetch the paper for you to see.” And the old man hurries into his cottage.

Whilst he is away I refer to a volume of Jane Austen’s Letters which I carry under my arm [don’t we all do this!], to see if, by chance, the name of Littlewart occurs in any of them. Yes! here it is in one dated November 1798. Jane is writing from Steventon to a sister-in-law, and after telling her that “their family affairs are somewhat deranged” owing to illness among the servants, she goes on to say “You and Edward will be amused, I think, when you know that Nanny Littlewart dresses my hair.” It was evidently this Nanny Littlewart’s daughter that was godchild to Jane Austen. So we have been actually talking to the son of her god-daughter!

After showing proper appreciation of the newspaper paragraph, we return to the meadow where the parsonage stood. My companion sits down on a bank to sketch the terrace and the pump, for the pump, barely noticed before, has become interesting now as the only visible relic of the Austens’ home.  Meanwhile I wander over the field endeavouring to

“Summon from the shadowy past
The forms that once have been.”

I can now picture to myself the exact spot where the parsonage stood, and can fancy the carriage drive approaching it “between turf and trees” from the gates at the corner of the two lanes. I can even fancy the house itself, being familiar with two old pencil views of it taken by members of the Austen family. These show that the front had a latticed porch, and that the back

                    STEVENTON PARSONAGE (FRONT VIEW)

had two projecting wings and looked on to the garden which sloped up to the terrace “walk.” In both sketches fine trees are introduced, and as I saunter about I notice some great flat stumps of elm-trees in the grass. The sight of these brings to mind a letter of Jane’s, written in November 1800, in which she says: “We have had a dreadful storm of wind in the fore part of this day, which has done a great deal of mischief among our trees. I was sitting alone in the dining-room  when an odd kind of crash startled me; in a moment afterwards it was repeated. I then went to the window, which I reached just in time to see the last of our two highly-valued elms descend into the Sweep!!!! The other, which had fallen, I suppose, in the first crash, and which was the nearest to the pond, taking a more easterly direction, sank among our screen of chestnuts and firs, knocking down one spruce fir, beating off the head of another, and stripping the two corner chestnuts of several branches in its fall. This is not all. One large elm, out of the two on the left-hand side as you enter what I call the elm walk, was likewise blown down; the maple bearing the weathercock was broke in two, and what I regret more than all the rest is, that all the three elms which grew in Hall’s meadow, and gave such ornament to it, are gone; two were blown down, and the other so much injured that it cannot stand. I am happy to add,” she continues, “that no greater evil than the loss of trees has been the consequence of the storm in this place, or in our immediate neighbourhood. We grieve therefore in some comfort.”[1]

The “elm walk” alluded to, which is sometimes called the “wood walk” in the “Letters,” extended from the terrace westward and led to a rustic shrubbery. The shrubbery has disappeared, but there are groups of trees on the slope of the terrace that may have shaded the “walk.” One group is especially beautiful. It consists of tall sycamores with their pale grey stems and dark green foliage, among which an old thorn has entwined its branches. We read in one of the “Letters” from Steventon: “The bank along the elm walk is sloped down for the reception of thorns and lilacs.”

Perhaps these features of her home may have been in the author’s mind when she described “Cleveland” in “Sense and Sensibility.” “It had no park, but the pleasure grounds were tolerably extensive . . . . It had its open shrubbery and closer wood walk . . . . The house itself was under the guardianship of the fir, the mountain ash, and the acacia.”

The ground between the house and the terrace “was occupied by one of those old-fashioned gardens in which vegetables and flowers are combined, flanked and protected on the east by one of the thatched mud walls common in that country, and overshadowed by fine elms.”[1] I look on the sloping grass “where once this garden smiled,” and fancy I see fruit-trees and flowers and that I even catch a glimpse of two girlish forms moving among them – those of Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra; that only sister so dear to the heart of Jane, of whom she spoke, “even in the maturity of her powers, as of one wiser and better than herself.”

We are told that a path called the “Church walk” started from the eastern end of the terrace and ascended the steep hill behind the parsonage to the church. It ran between “hedgerows under whose shelter the earliest primroses, anemones, and wild hyacinths were to be found.” Let us cross the meadow, gentle reader, where the path ran which the Austens must have trod each Sunday morning as they walked to church. Leaving the meadow, we enter a small wood, and, on emerging from this wood, find ourselves on high tableland. There above us stands the church, a modest edifice of sober grey, seen through a screen of great arching elms and sycamores. Behind us stretches a fertile valley fading into a blue distance. The only sounds that meet the ear on this still September day are the twittering of birds and the distant bleating of sheep. How often must Jane Austen have listened to these sounds as she passed on her way to church!

We follow a path which crosses the churchyard beneath the boughs of an ancient yew-tree, and enter the small silent church. Our attention is caught at once by the squire’s pew on the right of the chancel arch. Square and big and towering above the modern benches it stands – solid oak below, but with elegant open tracery above through which the occupants could see and be seen. In the Austens’ time a family named Digweed rented the Manor of Steventon. Its owner was Mr. Thomas Knight, a distant relative of the Rev. George Austen, but the Digweeds held the property for more than a hundred years.

After examining, with great interest, many tablets to Austens and Digweeds, we quit the dark church and step into the sunshine once more; and, passing through a wicket gate, find ourselves upon a wide spreading lawn adorned with great sycamores. Beyond the trees rises a stately mansion of early Tudor date, with its stone porch, its heavy mullioned windows, and its great chimney-stacks all wreathed with ivy – the old Manor House of Steventon.

The house is no longer inhabited, for the present owner, we learn, has migrated to a new mansion erected hard by, but the old building itself has suffered no alteration, as far as its outward walls are concerned, since the Digweeds lived there, when there was much intercourse between the squire’s and the rector’s families.

We sit down upon a grassy bank under the shade of tall limes and, looking to the right of the old grey building, we can see the corner of a gay flower garden, whose red and white dahlias and yellow sunflowers rise above a high box hedge. To our left is a bowling-green, across which the shadows of great trees are sweeping. Whilst my companion sketches the porch of the Manor House


THE OLD MANOR HOUSE

I turn over the leaves of Jane Austen’s “Letters” and my eye falls upon these playful remarks, written in November 1800 to her sister Cassandra: “The three Digweeds all came on Tuesday, and we played a pool at commerce. James Digweed left Hampshire to-day. I think he must be in love with you, from his anxiety to have you go to the Faversham balls, and likewise from his supposing that the two elms fell from their grief at your absence. Was not it a gallant idea? It never occurred to me before, but I daresay it was so.”

We are told that “Mr. Austen used to join Mr. Digweed in buying twenty or thirty sheep, and that all might be fair it was their custom to open the pen, and the first half of the sheep which ran out were counted as belonging to the rector. Going down to the fold on one occasion after this process had been gone through, Mr. Austen remarked one sheep among his lot larger and finer than the rest. ‘Well, John,’ he observed to John Bond (his factotum), ‘I think we have had the best of the luck with Mr. Digweed to-day, in getting that sheep.’ ‘Maybe not so much in the luck as you think, sir,’ responded the faithful John, ‘I see’d her the moment I come in and set eyes on the sheep, so when we opened the pen I just giv’d her a “huck” with my stick, and out a’ run.'”[1]

When evening approaches we leave the old manor house and its smooth lawns under the glowing light of the setting sun and descend the hill to Steventon Lane. There our chaise awaits us and we make our way, not back to Deane, but on to Popham Lane, the main road between Basingstoke and Micheldever, and establish ourselves at an old posting inn, called the Wheatsheaf, which we find will be within reach of many a place visited by Jane Austen as well as of Steventon.
[Hill, Jane Austen: Her Homes and her Friends, pp. 6-22]

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So one does need another trek to Steventon to place all these buildings in context – those still standing [what of the building used as the theatre in 1975?] and those now lost, but on the glebe maps to view. 

So a rather useless update here with just a little bit more information, a few more names, a few more buildings, a few lost buildings, and more questions…  anyone living in or near Steventon that sees this, please, please help me to fill in the gaps!

[Posted by Deb] 

The Saga of the Steventon Parsonage

[Note:  please see an update to this post at Steventon Parsonage Redux ]

One of the things I love most about old books is what you sometimes find in them, be it bookplates, inscriptions, the odd bookmark or pictures or postcards or notes or newspaper articles, some history of the book or the owners, or something relating to the subject of the book in your hands – alas! I have never found money! [but I did find a check once and I called the person so they could have it re-issued – a corporate check from only a few years before – the  customer was thrilled! ] – so if it looks like something the previous owner might want I send it to them] – but as that is not usually the case, I find the possibilities endless – indeed I have several shoe boxes filled with the stuff, someday to be gone through in my dotage.  But I recently bought a book by R.W. Chapman [to be posted about another time], our esteemed editor and scholar of Jane Austen and in it was the following news article [dated 1931]:

The Estate market:  a link with Jane Austen

   Steventon Rectory, in Hampshire, is for sale with 20 acres of garden and pasture.  The formal notice of the auction, to be held at Basingstoke on September 9, in The Times yesterday, refers to building frontages on adjoining land, and indicates that there will be two lots.  So any admirer of Jane Austen anxious to acquire a house where the great novelist was “without impertinence” called “Jane” needs to bid only for the rectory and grounds.  A short history of Steventon speaks of Edward Knight as patron of the living in 1830.  There, for those who know Jane Austen’s family connexions, is a name that is eloquent of her life at Godmersham, near Canterbury, and Chawton House, near Alton.  Jane Austen was born in the parsonage at Steventon in 1775, her father, the Rev. George Austen, being the rector.  She lived there for 16 years.  The contemplated sale of the Steventon Rectory is by Messrs. Daniel Smith, Oakley and Garrand {Charles-street, St. James’s-square, and Rochester) and Messrs. Clutton [Great College-street, Westminster).  The freehold will be sold in low reserve, and it is worthwhile to add that private offers before the auction will be considered by Sir John Oakley’s firm.

 No date on the news-clipping, but there are a few notices on the reverse side with dates of 1931, so I am assuming this auction took place on September 9, 1931. 

Other real estate noted in this clipping [and pictures of what the houses look like now]:

Caverswall Castle, Staffs. A fortified manor house that has escaped the perils of siege and the sometimes equally defacing hand of the restorer, is for slae by Messrs Hampton and Sons (St. James’s-square).  An Edwardian tenure of the estate by Sir William de Caverswall followed that of his ancestors in the reign of Richard I….  [it is now a luxury wedding and events venue]

 

Shendish House, with 90 or 525 acres, and the rest of the 1,300 acres of Shendish estate, Kings Langley, will come under the hammer of Messrs. John D. Wood and Co (Berkeley-square) on September 15 in Watford.  There are farms of from 120 to 320 acres, two residences, and 18 cottages.  The land has frontages for development…. [now called Shendish Manor, a hotel and golf course]

 

And 

Teaninich, Cromarty Firth, is for sale by Messrs. Knight, Frank and Rutley (Hanover-square).  It includes 2,000 acres, Teaninich House, a grouse moor, and salmon and sea trout fishing in the Alness and loch trouting. [picture of an old postcard of  Teaninich House  – is this now called Teaninich Castle?,  a small hotel]

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But what of the Steventon Rectory sale and the reference to Austen?  This auction announcement cannot be correct, as we know that the parsonage where Jane was born was demolished by her brother Edward Knight in 1826 [or 1824 – see below] – and I have not seen anything about the house that he built to replace it to serve as the rectory when his son took over the benefice from his uncle, Jane’s brother Henry Austen in 1822. 

All trips to Steventon, and books on the subject, guide you to the lonely pump sitting in a distant field that you can only document with a telephoto-lens camera – this the only remains of the rectory where Jane lived from her birth in 1775 until the move to Bath in 1801.

Old Steventon Parsonage site

[Image from Constance Hill biography]

 

But I have not seen anything about this second rectory that was built after James and Henry let the original rectory where Jane was born go to seed – that is until recently when it appeared on the market again in October 2009 [ it was on the market for £4.5 million, I can find no listing for it now, so assuming it has sold]  – see this article at Country Life as well as this blog post at Austenonly.] 

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So this little newsprint set me to research what I could find about this house, misnamed in the 1931 announcement as the house Austen grew up in [it also states she lived there for 16 years…],  and of course what one finds is so many varying accounts of the original rectory and nothing of this newer house at all.  I first discovered the discrepancies in dates as to when Edward demolished the house, then further variances in what the house looked like in a number of sources I have.  Then a search on the JASNA.org site led me to the Linda Robinson Walker article in Persuasions On-Line [Winter 2005] – where she has meticulously reviewed all these different depictions of the rectory to understand why Jane Austen was sent from home for so many years of her childhood. 

 The varying history [some sources say the land was given to Rev. Austen by the Knight family, some say the Austen family, some say he rented the land he farmed (called Cheesedown Farm), and some say he sold that land when he moved to Bath], discrepancies in dates [the dates of the sketches, the dates the house was demolished, how long Austen lived there], various pictures [some resources show one front view, some the other, and David Cecil in his A Portrait of Jane Austen [Constable, 1978]  is wrong in identifying the rectory as Chawton Cottage!] – all this conjectural history is dizzying, and one sees the danger of interpreting such flimsy data for a biography!  [though certainly some of these discrepancies can be due to newer data coming to light at various periods…] 

What the Rectory actually looked like is by no means clear – all knowledge is based on the original drawing by Anna LeFroy [James Austen’s daughter – she lived in the house as a child when Jane was there and then later when her father took over as curate in 1801] – and information gleaned from letters and the early memoirs / biographies of the family who actually knew the rectory [i.e. Anna LeFroy, Fanny Knight, Caroline Austen, and James Edward Austen-Leigh, as well as Jane Austen’s own comments in her letters about the house].  Anna made several sketches of the house, front and back view, and a street of cottages in Steventon.  [but see:  Deirdre Le Faye in her Jane Austen: a Family Record [2nd edition, Cambridge 2004] states that for the 1870 Memoir “Anna provided a ‘little drawing of Julia’s [her second daughter] made from my description of the Parsonage: more pretty than true, yet, some thing perhaps might be made of it…’ This joint composition formed the basis for the engraving of Steventon rectory used in the Memoir, and Anna added a note to the drawing in her possession: ‘The Door should have more Glass and less wood work – The Windows were Casements.”  [Le Faye, p. 280, quoting a LeFroy letter and the LeFroy MS]

Steventon Parsonage LeFroy sketch

Steventon Parsonage - LeFroy sketch rear view

Steventon Parsonage - Engraving in Memoir

 As you can see the two drawings of the house from the front do not compute – and Walker concludes that the engraving made from one of the drawings that was put into the 1870 Memoir was just another example of “beefing- up” Austen’s image, just as was done with her portrait – and that the smaller house was actually the rectory and Jane and Cassandra were sent from home to a boarding school to allow room for Rev. Austen’s boarding [and paying] male students.  Walker believes the larger house to be a sketch of Ibthorpe [still standing, privately owned – I was fortunate enough to have tea there during the JASNA AGM in Winchester in 2003!] and a house much visited by all the Austen family.  Walker does a most admirable job of computing all this data, based on family reminiscences, comments in letters as to location of rooms, etc. – but it is likely to be a mystery for all time, or at least a full-time research project to expand on what Walker has done.  But in the end I am inclined to concur with Tom Carpenter’s thoughts that the smaller house view is actually a side view of the rectory [Walker cites Carpenter’s opinion in her note no. 2 on page 20-21].  An aside on this:  I have the 1926 Memoir as edited by Chapman:  the frontispiece of Austen is the Victorianized / “beautified” Austen, and the parsonage is the engraving that Walker refers to.  But I also have the Folio Society edition of 1989, based on Chapman’s edition – the frontispiece is the facing-away sketch of Austen in the blue dress and the rectory is the original drawing by LeFroy of the smaller house.  Why this change in the illustrations?? Are you all sufficiently confused at this point?! It is interesting to note that David Nokes in his 1997 biography of Austen has no illustration at all of the parsonage – perhaps he saw this jumble in the making and opted out?!

As to when the original rectory was demolished and the new one built, an article in Persuasions by Patricia Jo Kulischeck [Vol. 7, 1985, pp. 39-40 ]– [the full text for this issue is not available, so I will quote from it directly] gives us the following information from land records of the time, Memorandum for a supplementary affidavit respecting Steventon Glebe Apl 1824, docketed in Edward Knight’s handwriting [text is in another hand]:

There is no rectory house in the Parish of Steventon excepting the new one now nearly finished built on a part of the land proposed to be added to the original glebe.  The former house was situated low and subject to be flooded, distant from the greater part of the village and in a dilapidated state.  The present house is placed above the valley in a more healthy spot and nearer the village.  The inhabitants are about 150 persons.  The original glebe consisting of only 3 A. OR. 23P [presumably 3 acres, or 23 parcels of land] in two disunited pieces was quite inefficient for the necessary accommodation of a resident clergyman’s family and as there are besides cottages only farm houses in the Parish and very few resident incumbents in the adjoining Parishes, it is most particularly desirable that the Rector of Steventon should reside there rather than on any other preferment he may eventually have and nothing is so likely to secure that residence as the proposed addition to the glebe which will add so materially to the comforts and in some degree to the respectability of the Rector.  There can be no doubt what ever but very sensible advantages will be felt as well in several of the adjoining Parishes as in that of Steventon by securing the residence of the Rector in that Parish.

 After the Austens moved to Bath in 1801, Rev. Austen retained the Steventon living and its income in his retirement and his son, James Austen, held the curacy, until his father’s death in 1805, when he became the Rector, and was so until his death in December 1819.  As the living was part of the Knight estate that Edward Austen owned, Henry Austen took over the living until Edward’s fourth son William Knight was old enough to take it on in 1822.  [Henry moved on to be curate of Farnham in Surrey.]    William lived here in the new rectory with his wife, Caroline Portal, who had eight children in twelve years [and died in childbirth with the last one, much like her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Knight, Edward’s wife, who died after giving birth to her 12th child]– this from Claire Tomalin’s biography of Austen,  and I find nothing more mentioned about this new rectory… 

 Kulisheck also quotes from an entry in the Victoria County History of Hampshire, printed in 1911:

 St. Nicholas’ Church is on the eastern boundary of the parish.  The rectory standing in very pretty and well-wooded grounds of 53 acres is some distance north of the church…situated about 500 yards from where the old one used to stand.  At present no vestige of it remains, but up to within the last twenty years garden flowers used to bloom every season in the meadow where it formerly stood.” [Kulisheck, p. 40, quoting the History, vol. IV, p. 171.]

 The October 2009 advertisement for this property, now called Steventon House, [see picture above] says it was bought by the Duke of Wellington in 1855, sold to a Harris family in 1877 – the house remained a rectory for the village until 1930 [1931], when it sold and became a private home [and that would be the sale from the auction in the newspaper that started this whole circuitous post…] [this current information from the Austenonly blog and a number of news articles about the sale]

 So this is a very convoluted explanation of the original Steventon Parsonage where Jane Austen spent the first 25 years of her life !- the mystery remains, I feel more confused than ever! – more reading on the agenda… and certainly a required trip to the Hampshire Records Office – how awful that work gets in the way of such adventures!

Sources and further reading: 

-Austen-Leigh, James Edward.  A Memoir of Jane Austen by her Nephew.  With introduction, Notes and Index by R.W. Chapman.  Oxford, 1926. 

 -Austen-Leigh, J.E.  A Memoir of Jane Austen by her Nephew.  Introduction by Fay Weldon; based on the Second Edition of 1871 edited by R.W. Chapman for the Clarendon Press in 1926.  The Folio Society, 1989.

 -Cecil, David.  A Portrait of Jane Austen.  Constable, 1978. 

-Hill, Constance.  Jane Austen:  Her Houses and Haunts.  John Lane, 1901, rep. 1923 [available online at A Celebration of Women Writers here.] 

-Kulisheck, Patricia Jo. “Steventon Parsonage”  Persuasions, Vol. 7, 1985, pp. 39-40.

 -Le Faye, Deirdre.  Jane Austen:  a Family Record.  2nd ed.  Cambridge, 2004.

 -Todd, Janet, ed.  Jane Austen in Context.  Cambridge, 2007.

 -Tomalin, Claire.  Jane Austen:  a Life.  Viking, 1997. 

Walker, Linda Robinson Walker, “Why Was Jane Austen Sent Away to School at Seven? An Empirical Look at a Vexing Question.”  Persuasions On-Line, V.26, No. 1 [Winter 2005]

-Wilkes, Brian.  Jane Austen.  Hamlyn, 1978.

The Basingstoke and Deane Conservation Area Appraisal for Steventon, shows numerous homes in the area, including Steventon House.

Austenonly Blog on the Steventon Rectory

Jane Austen’s World Blog on the Steventon Rectory

Steventon, Jane Austen’s Home at Hantsweb

 [Posted by Deb]