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REVIEW: Jane Austen by the Sea @ Prince Regent Gallery, 17/06/2017

The Verse’s Lou Clement tells us what she thought of Jane Austen by the Sea at Brighton’s Prince Regent Gallery on 17th June 2017.

A new exhibition titled Jane Austen by the Sea opened up last week at the iconic Royal Pavilion in Brighton. I visited to take a closer look and find out a bit more about it. Upstairs at the Prince Regent Gallery, nestled off the main hallway, the room is small but boasts important Austen artefacts currently housed at her last residence, Chawton House. The cottage in Hampshire now supports a centre dedicated to Early Women’s Writing.

Jane Austen’s plucky heroines and stories of mishap, chance and love continue to inspire and endure, so I imagine it has been much anticipated. This exhibition also brings to life society at the turn of the 19th Century, with pictures of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of the Prince Regent and Caroline of Brunswick. Again, Caroline of Brunswick’s is the namesake for buildings in Brighton, but I hadn’t actually seen a picture of her until visiting the exhibition.

The exhibition is a time capsule; I won’t give away all the Jane Austen artefacts on display, suffice to say they would be considered an absolute wonder for any Austen fan. As well as celebrating her writing, there are also displays of her music books, hosting handwritten music that she and her sister would play. There are paintings and dresses evocative of Regency society and a chance to dress up yourself in traditional Regency costume.

This exhibition marks the bicentenary of Austen’s death and forms part of Royal Pavilion & Museums’ Regency Summer season in 2017, which will also include the exhibition Constable and Brighton, and the display Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate (both at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery). The exhibition closes on January 8th 2018, so don’t miss out! 


Exhibition information

The Royal Pavilion

Free with Royal Pavilion admission, members free

Free entry with National Art Pass

Pavilion Gardens, BN1 1EE

Jane Austen by the Sea

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