Jane Austen spent three periods of her life in Southampton, as a schoolgirl, as a young woman and as an adult when she, her mother and sister lived with her brother Frank Austen in a house near Southampton Castle. In one of her early pieces of writing she declared “Beware of the unmeaning luxuries of Bath and the stinking fish of Southampton….” Perhaps because they lived downwind of the fish market on St Michael's Square! So did Southampton have more to offer and inspire the budding writer than the waft of herring? The Southampton Jane Austen Festival ‘The Stinking Fish of Southampton’ aims to answer that question. So if you are looking for Mr Darcy, the culmination of the Stinking Fish of Southampton events ends with a weekend of walks, talks, exhibitions, displays, workshops and a Regency Ball at the Dolphin Hotel.
Venues include Tudor House Museum (which will be free entry on Saturday), St Michael's Church and the Dolphin Hotel.
Saturday events include: programme of talks in Tudor House; music workshops with The Madding Crowd; tours of St Michael's Church; Embroidery Workshops by Hanging By A Thread; Tea and Scandal - cream tea and talk at the Dolphin Hotel and an evening concert with The Madding Crowd at St Michael's Church.
Sunday events include: a special Austen themed service in St Michael's Church; guided walk around Southampton Spa Town; dance workshop with the Duke of Wellington Dancers and a full Regency Dinner and Ball at the Dolphin Hotel.
If you would like to make a weekend of it, we have negotiated special rates at the period Dolphin Hotel. For more information please contact the Dolphin Hotel on 023 8038 6473 quoting "Jane Austen Ball".
The Stinking Fish of Southampton Festival is made possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.