Mansfield Park was published in May 1814. This was one of two naval novels that Jane Austen wrote – both Mansfield Park and Persuasion have significant naval themes and characters.
Her inspiration and knowledge came from two of her brothers, Frank and Charles, who were in the Royal Navy, and also from those officers who were her neighbours or within her social circle. One of those neighbours was Benjamin Clement.
THE CLEMENT MEMORIAL
The chancel of the church of St Nicholas in the village of Chawton in Hampshire has a stained glass window commemorating Benjamin Clement and his wife. The dedication within the glass at the bottom of the window reads: ‘In memory of Benjamin Clement, Captain RN. Born March 29th 1785. Died Nov. 5th 1835. Also of Ann Mary his wife. Born Septr. 22nd 1787. Died Aug. 30th 1858.’
It is thought that this couple, along with Ann-Mary’s sister, Catherine-Ann Prowting, are referred to in perhaps the very last letter Continue reading