Charlotte Mary Yonge
Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901), novelist, editor, biographer, essayist, journalist and writer of textbooks. Inspired by the local Anglican priest and theologian John Keble, a leader of the Oxford Movement, which advocated the Church of England returning to a more Catholic High Church position. Yonge’s writings taking up these ideals spread its influence and she became a best-selling author with novels such as The Heir of Redclyffe (1853), The Daisy Chain (1856) and The Pillars of the House (1873), her last and considered by some to be her best work. She wrote in the service of the Church and never profited from her writing, but gave all the proceeds to charity.
Yonge lived all her life in Otterbourne, near Eastleigh in Hampshire. In 1868 when two villages, Barton and Eastley, were combined to form one parish, she donated £500 towards the cost of building a new parish church. As a result of this generous gesture she was asked which of the villages the parish should be named after. She chose Eastley, but suggested the spelling should be altered to Eastleigh.
This statue of Yonge seated on a bench reading a book was unveiled in 2015. The unveiling had been scheduled for the previous year, but before the ceremony could take place, the face was damaged and the nose broken by vandals, resulting in a delay for repair work to be carried out.
Location: Station approach, Eastleigh, Hants.