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Help to safeguard a priceless Austen family property and the great legacy of early women writers housed at the “Great House.”

Campaigns & Events


Help match the Historic Houses Association Grant!
Help Chawton House to protect its collections and keep its staff, scholars and visitors warm next winter.



Flag-Raising Campaign
Would you like your state flag to fly over Chawton House for a day?  If your region can raise ten thousand dollars, you can have this privilege. MORE >


GLOSS ~ Godmersham Lost Sheep Society
Help us with the important project of recovering books lost from the Austen family library at Godmersham.  MORE >


Great things are happening at Chawton House!

The Visiting Fellows program was reinstated last fall, with several scholars spending a month each in the Library working on their academic projects.


The latest exhibition, Treasures of Chawton House, drew rave reviews. Drawing on both Knight and Austen family history and on early women’s writing, it featured never-before-displayed objects and new acquisitions, such as the recently acquired music book owned by Jane Austen.


For International Women’s Day 2024, Chawton House partnered with Jane Austen’s House, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, and the Brontë Parsonage to look at the influence of female friendships on these writers. 


And finally, the team at Chawton House received a £4400 matching grant from the Historic Houses Association for several specific projects. As a result, we are pleased to announce our 2024 fundraising project: raising the matching funds for the HHA grant.


Natalie Jenner donates royalties for her new book The Jane Austen Society to Chawton House!


Laura Rocklyn wins the online auction for Lady Molesworth's set of Jane Austen, and then generously donates the books to Chawton House.


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Support Chawton House in its mission.

We exist expressly in order to raise funds for Chawton House and support its primary mission to raise awareness and increase understanding of the early women writers who preceded, inspired, and influenced Jane Austen. 



Chawton House in Hampshire is “The Great House” formerly belonging to Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight, just up the road from the cottage where she herself resided for some years and which became Jane Austen's House Museum. Jane walked up to the “Great House” regularly during her years in Chawton in order to dine there with family, to spend time with her motherless nieces and nephews, to explore the gardens, and to worship at St. Nicholas church next door.


Presently, Chawton House safeguards the Knight family’s library books, a few important paintings and antiques, as well as an extraordinary collection of works by early women writers. These works were assembled during the 1990s by American philanthropist Sandy Lerner, founder of Cisco Systems, after discovering how understudied and uncollected many early women authors were. Chawton House has, subsequently, become a center for the study of the female pens that preceded and inspired Austen’s own: many scholars, bibliophiles, and philanthropists have added to the core collection. Much new scholarship has emerged from work done on site.


After almost single-handedly carrying the financial burden of Chawton House’s ambitious restoration and maintenance for two decades, Lerner had to step away from the project, leaving Chawton House to make its own way in the world.  Many friends are needed to help this worthy charity and historic property establish a bright future of financial independence. After all, Chawton House and the rich literary history it now safeguards should never have been one person’s financial responsibility to shoulder.


NAFCH (formerly NAFCHL) is an official charity registered in the USA and Canada, or what Americans term a “501(c)(3).”  Our tax-exempt status allows US donors to get a tax deduction for their charitable donation, giving them an extra incentive to be generous. We thus exist expressly in order to raise funds for Chawton House and support its primary mission to raise awareness and increase our understanding of the early women writers who preceded, inspired, and influenced Jane Austen. 


Please join us. Become a Friend of “The Great House,” its lovely rooms and historic garden, and the many early women writers, including Jane Austen, whose legacy and works reside within.

Many thanks,

Linda Troost


I never walk up the drive to the Great House without thinking of Jane Austen walking there before me. Over the years, Edward, who had several houses, came to spend more time at Chawton with his family, which of course I attribute largely to Jane's presence.​
~ Isobel Grundy
teacher, scholar, author


Board of Directors

Linda Troost, PhD

Deborah Barnum, MLS
Pam Braak, CPA

Collins Hemingway, MA

Isobel Grundy, DPhil

Diana Lovell, PhD

Joy Prevost

Laura Rocklyn MFA

Carole Stokes


Janine Barchas, PhD

Inger Brodey, PhD

Linda Dennery

Roberta Gay

Janet Johnson

Gina King

Cheryl Kinney, MD

Sandy Lerner, OBE

Joan Klingel Ray, PhD

Paul Savidge, JD

Kerri Spennicchia, MSLIS

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