Award-Winning Comedian, Author, Screenwriter, Director and TV Presenter
"Jane Austen, often depicted as just a sparky spinster, is in fact one of the greatest geniuses in English literature, the mother of the modern novel. The reason her work is still read and filmed today is that she created a type of storytelling that was at once eternal and centuries ahead of its time. I’m proud - as a much lesser storyteller - to be the ambassador for Jane Austen’s House Museum in 2019. Also it’ll really upset Giles Coren."
Historian, Author, Curator and TV Presenter
"Jane Austen lived her life in other people's houses, and mostly other people's terms as a dutiful daughter or a helpful spinster aunt.
Only when she finally moved to the cottage at Chawton did she find something like a real home.
It's lovely to think of her blooming here, settling down at last and becoming a successful novelist. But it's also devastating to think that her final illness began here too.
I hope that Jane's Fund will secure the future of this modest - but oh-so-moving - building forever."
“It’s a rare experience to stand on the very spot where some of the best loved novels in the world were written, but that’s what you can do in the Jane Austen Museum at Chawton. If any literary monument ever deserved our support, this modest, charming and atmospheric place is it.”
Author and Scholar
“I am supporting Jane’s Fund because helping to maintain this historic house is of vital national and International importance. It is the place where Jane Austen lived happily in the company of a small circle of women, and where she was able to write and publish her novels, which are the most incredible gift to the world.”
“Beneath her humorous veneer, Austen is a barbed commentator on the battle between the sexes. As a woman writer, she realised that ‘poetic justice’ is the only true justice in the world - and set about impaling misogynistic enemies on the end of her pen...It was Jane Austen who made me want to write novels so that I too could comedically knee-cap the pompous, the pretentious and the patriarchal. Jane’s former home must be protected as a place of inspiration for future generations.”
Photo credits: Lucy Worsley cr. Sophia Spring; Joanna Trollope cr. Barker Evans; Kathy Lette cr. Woman & Home Liz McAulay