Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
During that first stay in April 1811 Jane was correcting proofs of Sense and Sensibility.
'No indeed, I am never too busy to think of S&S. I can no more forget it, than a mother
can forget her sucking child,' she wrote to Cassandra. But it was not all work - Eliza gave
an entertainment mentioned in the Morning Post of 25 April, which must have been very
gratifying, even if the newspaper spelled her name wrong: 'Mrs H Austin had a musical
party at her house in Sloane-street.'
No. 64 Sloane Street.
No. 23 Hans Place. Somewhere inside is the ghost of the house Jane
It was held on the first floor in the octagonal rear salon and the front drawing room. Jane
told Cassandra that she spent most of the time talking to friends in '…the connecting Pas-
sage, which was comparatively cool, & gave us all the advantage of the Music at a pleasant
distance, as well as that of the first view of every new comer.' There were glee singers, a
harpist and floral decorations.
Between 22 April and 1 May 1813 Jane stayed here to support Henry through Eliza's fi-
nal illness: she died on 25 April. On 20 May Jane, who was again with her newly widowed
brother, wrote that she was very snug with the front drawing room all to herself.
She enjoyed the little luxuries that Henry could afford. 'The Driving about, the Carriage
being open, was very pleasant. I liked my solitary elegance very much, & was ready to
laugh all the time, at my being where I was - I could not but feel that I had naturally small
right to be parading about London in a Barouche.'
After Eliza's death Henry moved away but eventually returned to live in Hans Place, just
around the corner.
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