OUR exclusive story this week revealed Winchester Cathedral is returning with a revised plan for a Jane Austen statue in The Close.

A previous proposal in 2019 was dropped after a strong public response that the piece was too 'Mills & Boon', too kitsch for such a refined setting.

But the cathedral authorities have not been deterred and have been working with the same artist, Martin Jennings, to come up with a second figure.

The aim is to have the statue in place outside 9 The Close by 2025, the 250th anniversary of her birth.

READ MORE HERE: Revised plans for Jane Austen statue at Winchester Cathedral

There is no doubt that the new idea is an improvement although the sculptor has not been able to resist a windswept look with her skirt somehow billowing in the breeze. The cathedral says Ms Austen is getting up to answer the door.  It must have been a very draughty house. A heavy Regency dress would have been unlikely to move in such a fashion especially when worn by so genteel a person, who also presumably had servants to do that sort of thing.

The cathedral needs to pay its own way and there is no doubt that a statue of Jane Austen would attract tourists to bring in vital revenue to pay for the building's upkeep.

The ball is now in the public's court. We will see what people think.

Write to letters@hampshirechronicle.co.uk.