Caroline Jane Knight shares more than Jane Austen's name and DNA.
"For more than twenty years, I chose not to tell my colleagues and friends that I am Jane Austen's fifth great niece and the last of the Austen family to grow up in Chawton House, in the south of England, on the ancestral estate where Jane herself lived and wrote."
Caroline explored the same places around Chawton House and its grounds as Jane did, dined at the same dining table in the same dining room, read in the same library and shared the same dream of independence.
But when she was seventeen, Caroline and her family were forced to leave the home her family had lived in for four centuries. Heartbroken, but determined to leave all things Austen behind her, Caroline eventually carved out a highly successful career in business
"But in 2013, the widely celebrated bicentennial of the publishing of Pride & Prejudice started a chain of events in my life that would take me back to my roots and reunite me with my 'very great' great-aunt, Jane Austen."
Caroline is now the founder and chair of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation and runs her own business, The Greyfriar Group. Caroline lives in a leafy village on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, with her husband, dogs and chickens.
APPEARANCES AND EVENTS
Come and hear Caroline talk about her Austen heritage, growing up in Chawton, the legacy of her great-aunt, Jane Austen, and modern-day Austen fandom
read caroline's story
Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage is the authentic story of Caroline's childhood at Chawton House, her tumultuous journey to success, her ultimate crisis and her rediscovery and embrace of her Austen Heritage
jANE AUSTEN AND CHAWTON
Jane Austen was an unpublished author when she moved to Chawton. By her early death nine years later she had published four novels, which are more popular today than ever