Sometimes after I have spent time writing on a message,
I delete what I have written because I have the feeling that It's all been said before. It is becoming more and more difficult to say something about Jane Austen that hasn't been said already.
Like with the question why she was buried in the Cathedral.
I found that it had all been gone through very thoroughly in the JASNA
website. But perhaps there is still a few questions that remains.
I can not really understand why her brothers did not just bring her back to Chawton. I see that as the natural thing to do.
But just as Claire Tomalin I believe it must have been her brother Henry that was the driving force behind her burial in Winchester.
Edward probably would have accepted Chawton and so would Francis and James. But Henry was the one closest to her after her sister. I feel that they had something in common. They were both a little different from the rest of the family.
James was showing a more free spirit when he was at the university, but after he had been ordained he adapted easily to the quiet life as a vicar,or so it seems. But perhaps he just did what he felt he had to do as the eldest son. Edward had no reason to search for anything else. And the naval brothers had their future decided for them very early. But had Mr Austen no plans for Henry? I don't know.
He seems to have had a more restless mind judging by his many different pursuits, but perhaps he was just unlucky in his choice of career. I believe Jane was like him, but she could not do what he did.
Henry must have been the one that convinced the others. He knew that she was not just any sister, she was special, and she deserved special attention. And the family was good enough and had connectons with the church,to make it possible.
I have visited Winchester before and will probably do it again this year. I'm going to see if I can find a list of all who is buried in the Cathedral. That will show me if her burial there was exceptional at that time.
But I'm also going to look for another house connected with Jane, wich I was not aware of. In Dec.1814 she and her sister Cassandra went to Winchester and stayed with Mrs Heatcote(Elizabeth Bigg)and her sister Alethea who were then living at nr 12 in the Cathedral Close. There has been a renumbering of the buildings so today it should be nr 11. But I believe the house still exists.
By the way, Henry wrote a revised version of his biographical note on Jane for an 1834 edition. It would be interesting to se what he has omitted and added, if it could be found.