Mr Brodnax Moore, the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. George Brook Knight, has very kindly made available to us a PDF. file of the booklet which was produced to mark the unveiling of the Centenary Tablet on Chawton Cottage (now the Jane Austen House Museum) in 1917.
This is the cover of the original booklet:
The booklet, now quite a rare find in antiquarian bookshops, contains details of the unveiling ceremony, with photographs and the text of the speeches. Constance Hill, who wrote Jane Austen, Her Home and Her Friends,(1902) and her sister, Ellen G. Hill were the prime movers in the desire to erect a tablet on the cottage, and helped form a committee to raise the necessary funds. They wished to commemorate the fact that this was the house where Jane Austen had lived and worked. At that time in the early 20th century the house was still in the ownership of the Knight family and was part of the Chawton estate. It was not open to the public, and the formation of the Jane Austen Society was some decades away. This booklet records, therefore, the beginnings of the interest in Jane Austen’s life, times and works which continues today.
Ellen Hill designed the tablet, shown below, which can still be seen on the house today, and its interesting symbolism is explained in the booklet.
If you would like to read the booklet, or download it to keep on your computer, then you may by clicking on this link, below, which will take you directly to the file.
I’m sure you will all want to thank Mr. Moore for this very kind and generous gift to us. The original booklet was found by him in one of his grandmother’s albums. She and her husband lived at the Great House, now know as Chawton House Library, below, in the 1930s.
He very carefully constructed the PDF file directly from it. I am very grateful to him for making this available to us all, and for his thoughtfulness. So, please, do enjoy reading this interesting item.