Deborah Yaffe

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Janeite dream job par excellence

By Deborah Yaffe, Dec 23 2019 02:00PM

Another of those Janeite dream jobs -- arguably, the biggest Janeite dream job of them all -- has opened up: Jane Austen’s House Museum, aka Chawton cottage, is looking for a new director. The most recent incumbent, Mary Guyatt, left her post earlier this month to take a position overseeing restoration of the Houses of Parliament in London.


Chawton cottage is the most important Jane Austen site in England, the place where Austen lived for the last eight years of her life and where she wrote or revised all six of her completed novels. It’s visited by an average of 40,000 people each year; during 2017, the bicentenary of Austen’s death, that number rose to 55,000.


Maintaining this shrine and expanding its offerings is a big job in the Janeite world: the job description calls for skills in curation, management, communications, budgeting, and fundraising. And all for the modest – by American standards – salary of about $52,000.


Applications are due by January 19, so start polishing those resumes. . .


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