House, Gardens & Cafe Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.30 - 17.00

Austen Sisters

Friday 30th September

Doors open 18.30, performance begins 19.00

Enjoy an evening in our atmospheric Great Parlour listening to Jane Austen’s inner thoughts and feelings in an entertaining and dramatic recital of readings of letters between Jane and her sister Cassandra Austen. The recital will also feature prose and poetry, an extract from her novel ‘Persuasion’ and some of Jane’s early Juvenilia work, compiled and performed by Rowan Suart, a professional actress/speaker based in Hampshire and working in theatre, television and radio.  

 For many years Rowan Suart has played diverse roles in repertory and commercial theatre nationwide, in dramas and sit-coms on television, and in BBC Radio 4 classic serials.  Recent favourite roles include Carlotta Gray in Coward’s A Song At Twilight,   Mrs Elton in Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, and Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan’s The Rivals.  She is also guest Speaker for organisations and social groups in Hants/Surrey/Sussex with her themed literary recitals.                                                               

The performance lasts 50 minutes, and there will be a chance beforehand to purchase drinks.  

Tickets are £15 per person.


    Gilbert Whites House

    Gilbert White was aged 7 or 8 when the White family moved from the Vicarage on Selborne’s Plestor, to this house, called ‘The Wakes’ (named after the Wake family who had lived here previously). At that time the property would have been no more than a ‘two up, two down’  but over the subsequent years lots of extensions and additions have been made, creating the long sizeable house you see today.

    The rooms have been restored following descriptions in White’s own correspondence and include a chair he used at Oriel College, Oxford (loaned from the College), items of contemporary furniture, family portraits and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts.

    On display is the original manuscript of his book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, which was purchased with generous help from English Heritage and others.

    Learn more