Jane Austen - Life and Work

by Roger Askew

May 24th

Jane Austen - Life and Work

This talk celebrates the life and work of one of our best-loved writers, who died 200 years ago on July 18th 1817. We shall examine her life in Hampshire, a life confined to a small geographical area and circle of family and friends, and also explore how despite these seeming restrictions she came to write six novels in which she created characters that still live as vividly today as in the Georgian period.

We shall examine her letters, through which she reveals herself to be the same sharp observer of human nature that she demonstrates in her novels and find that she was not the comfy, almost sanctified, figure that the Victorian age painted her. The lecture will include readings from her letters and novels.

Roger Askew


Roger was a chorister at Wells Cathedral School and a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated with an honours degree in English. He combined a teaching career with professional singing in London and after obtaining a further degree in Music became Director of Music at Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College in Edinburgh.


After retiring in 2003 he returned to the south of England. He is President Emeritus of The Stoke Poges Society and Joint Chairman of the Arts Society Windsor.

Image credit: Wiki Media Common: Public domain: Illustrations by C E and H M Brock 1898