Re­vealed, how Jane Austen cre­ated two fake wed­dings ... for her­self!

Daily Mail - - News - By Eleanor Hayward

SHE is be­hind some of lit­er­a­ture’s most iconic ro­mances.

And it seems that Jane Austen’s pen­chant for cre­at­ing fic­ti­tious mar­riages ex­tended to her­self.

Newly un­earthed doc­u­ments re­veal that as a teenager the au­thor fal­si­fied a mar­riage reg­is­ter to an­nounce her im­pend­ing mar­riage to two sep­a­rate men.

Miss Austen, who never mar­ried, cre­ated the fake en­tries in the Steven­ton reg­is­ter for 1755-1812, which she had ac­cess to be­cause her fa­ther, George Austen, was rector of the Hamp­shire parish.

The doc­u­ment, held by Hamp­shire Archives, in­cludes a fake en­try for the pub­li­ca­tion of banns of mar­riage be­tween Henry Fred­eric Howard Fitzwilliam of London and Jane Austen of Steven­ton.

An­other de­tails the mar­riage of the au­thor to Ed­mund Arthur Wil­liam Mor­timer of Liver­pool. It is not known whether ei­ther of the men ac­tu­ally ex­isted.

Hamp­shire county coun­cil­lor An­drew Gib­son said the doc­u­ment ‘re­veals a mis­chievous side dur­ing [Miss Austen’s] younger years.’

It will go on dis­play in May at an ex­hi­bi­tion in Winch­ester to mark 200 years since her death.

Pre­tence: Jane Austen

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