Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jane Austen Family Letters at the Huntington

The Huntington Library and Gardens in Southern California, has acquired a new set of letters, which is very exciting as a lover of all things Austen.
Leigh Family Papers, unpublished letters and manuscripts from Jane Austen's mother's family, 1686–1823, 1866. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Leigh Family Papers (Jane Austen’s Mother was Cassandra Leigh) unpublished letters and manuscripts from Jane Austen's mother's family, 1686–1823, 1866. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
"The Council also acquired 52 unpublished letters, poems, and other materials from Jane Austen’s mother’s family, the Leighs of Adlestrop. The collection spans six generations, capturing intimate family relationships across time."  

“This is a deeply personal collection of family papers that draws back the curtain on the formalities of society in 17th- and 18th-century England,” said Vanessa Wilkie, William A. Moffett Curator of English Historical Manuscripts. “We’re looking at correspondence revealing the intimate, mundane, playful, and tragic aspects of the times.” The collection spans almost 200 years, with a range of voices from within one lineage. “You get a dear mother, affectionate father, dear son, dear cousin, dear brother, dear little niece, dear Madame, and even A. Nonymous,who writes a really funny letter that cautions against the dangers of falling in love with Miss Fortune.”

Historians and literary scholars continue to mine the legacy of Jane Austen, already well studied. These materials provide an unpublished window into her mother’s side of the family. It does not include Jane Austen material; most of her letters were burned by her sister after her death. The collection supplements other Leigh family material already in The Huntington’s possession."

I am joining the lovely Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for her Tuesday Roses of Inspiration Party.  Please join me by clicking here.


  1. Hi Heather! What an amazing collection! There's no doubt Jane Austen and her family are intriguing and shed so much light on that era which I love too! Thanks for the insight! Have a great day!

  2. I agree with Christine. What an amazing collection. Love that era too!

  3. That would be so great to have the experience of seeing those. Love Jane Austin also and I always love some of the movies and books from that era.

  4. What a wonderful collection! I have visited the Jane Austen centre in Bath and the Austen Huse at Chawton, but never the Huntington. How marvelous you can go often!

  5. Hello Heather

    How lovely to meet you at Stephanie's party and thank you for following my blog!
    I'm a great fan of Jane Austen too and I would love to see this collection of letters in person - how lucky are you!
    She was a great writer and Pride and Prejudice is one of my very favourite books which I love re-reading.
    I'm now following you and I've added your lovely blog to my blog roll especially so I won't miss a single post!

    Blessings and hugs

  6. Dearest Heather, what a wonderful and beautiful collection of letters! Thank you so much for sharing at Roses of Inspiration. Hugs and blessings!