Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sleeping with the Saints

Jane Austen's final resting place. Her stone at St. Swithin's Cathedral reads:

In Memory of
youngest daughter of the late
formerly Rector of Steventon in this County

She departed this Life on the 18th of July1817,

aged 41, after a long illness supported with

the patience and 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




Gareth Russell said...

What a beautiful inscription.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, very! Sad that she died so young!

Julygirl said...

Having read her biography, it is true. Besides her legacy to the literary world she also gave generously of herself and her resources.

Enbrethiliel said...


Elena, have you read Susan Coolidge's novel What Katy Did Next (the third book in what I call her "Katy Trilogy")? In the story, the title character travels to Europe and gets to visit Jane Austen's grave. She is thrilled to be able to lay some flowers there, but her gesture toward a dead woman she never met puzzles one of the locals. He has never even heard of Austen's writing.

Now, the book's style makes me think it is based on a tour of Europe which Coolidge herself must have made, and so the details seem very credible, BUT . . . is it really likely that an Englishman in the mid- to late-1800s wouldn't have the foggiest idea about Jane Austen?

elena maria vidal said...

No, E., I never heard read the Katy trilogy. It does seem strange that Jane Austen would be forgotten by her own countrymen but I think her popularity has experienced an ebb and flow over the years, even in England.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I LOVE Jane Austen!

God Bless,