Jane Austen’s desk is set to be on display in Southampton.

The public will be able to see the author’s travelling writing desk for the first time since she lived in the city more than 200 years ago.

From November 2024 until February 2025, the famous novelist’s writing desk will be seen in God’s House Tower, just a stone’s throw from where she lived during her time in the city.

This will be done to mark the author’s 250th birthday on December 16, 2025.

She was sent to school in Southampton when she was seven years old and visited several times before living in the city between 1806 and 1809.

Daily Echo: Jane Austen’s desk is set to be going on display in SouthamptonJane Austen’s desk is set to be going on display in Southampton (Image: a-space)

This marks the start of a city-wide programme of activities and events celebrating the writer’s 250th birthday in 2025, including opportunities for communities to get involved through workshops, creative commissions and activities.

Given to Jane Austen by her father in December 1794, the desk opens to provide a slope on which to write and has various compartments including a lockable drawer for paper and valuables.

Dan Crow, Director of ‘a space’ arts, which manages God’s House Tower said: “We are thrilled to host the travelling writing desk and look forward to producing an exhibition that will launch a city-wide programme of events and activities to mark Jane’s 250th birthday.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for ‘a space’, our team and award-winning venue GHT, to expand our knowledge, reach new audiences and gain international exposure.”

‘a space’ is working closely with Southampton Forward on this project, an independent charity that works in partnership across the city to enhance the cultural and economic impact of Southampton.

Claire Whitaker, CEO of Southampton Forward, said: “This is a great opportunity for the city. The return of Jane Austen’s desk to Southampton marks the first in a series of events which celebrate ‘Jane Austen 250’, which is part of a regional programme.

“These events will celebrate Jane Austen’s deep ties to Southampton, invite different perspectives of her life and literary works and explore her writing through a contemporary lens”.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Leader of Southampton City Council said: “It is fantastic that we can highlight a nationally important female author with strong connections to Southampton and the region through the partnership of Southampton City Council, Southampton Forward, ‘a space arts’ and the Art Fund.

“This is an important step in developing our cultural tourism offer to attract regional, national and international visitors, by leveraging investment to grow the cultural experience alongside Southampton City Art Gallery, SeaCity Museum, Tudor House, Solent Sky Museum, John Hansard Gallery and many others to deliver economic growth and prosperity.”