Jane Austen Museum Bans Fans' Ashes

Devotees were using her garden as their final resting place
By Kristina Loew,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2008 6:10 PM CST
The home of novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817) in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire, which is now a museum.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The caretakers of Jane Austen's estate in England have issued an unusual plea to her devoted fans: Please stop having your ashes scattered in her garden. Museum representatives say they understand the passion but can't allow the practice. “It is distressing for visitors to see mounds of human ash, particularly so for our gardener," a museum official wrote to the Jane Austen Society. "Also, it is of no benefit to the garden!”

Still, that same museum official admits Austen probably would have gotten a kick out of the controversy. “I think she would think it's hilarious and be thrilled she inspired such devotion.” The author wrote many of her most famous works at the estate's cottage, including Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice.