All hands on deck, Gentle Readers. We started receiving messages this morning that Jane Austen’s House Museum is in trouble. You can contribute to help save it.
The Guardian has an article about the appeal:
The house where Jane Austen completed all six of her novels and lived for the last eight years of her life, is at risk of closing before the end of the year due to the financial pressures of lockdown and is launching an appeal to secure its future.
Lizzie Dunford, director of Jane Austen’s House Museum, in Chawton, Hampshire, said it receives no regular public funding and is dependent on visitors and supporters. When the doors were closed on 20 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum, which employs 16 staff and has 50 volunteers, lost all its income.
Now there is “a very real risk” that the museum will close permanently before the end of 2020, Dunford said, with its collections of first editions, letters and objects owned by the Austen family set to be dispersed and all staff made redundant.
We dispatched Dorothy to dig through the sofa cushions for spare change and sent a contribution. We know things are difficult for many right now, financially and spiritually, but we implore our Gentle Readers to help if they can. Truly, even a small contribution, a few dollars, pounds, or euros, will help. If many give a little, it adds up to a lot.
We simply cannot allow Jane Austen’s House to be lost, Gentle Readers. As of this writing, the total stands at 47% of the £75,000 goal. Please give what you can, alert your Janeite posse, and be generous.