Anyone who longs to immerse themselves in the elegance of the Regency period has much to look forward to this year. The Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton, Hampshire, has several events in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, kicking off with an exhibition, ‘The Story of Pride & Prejudice’, in which visitors follow a trail of the novel’s illustrations by Hugh Thomson, opening on February 2 (until May). Writing workshops include ‘But Intricate Characters Are The Most Amusing’, on April 27, and ‘Fifty Miles of Good Road’, about the journeys Jane Austen sent her characters on, on May 18 (tickets cost £20, booking essential). There is a lecture by Prof John Mullan, ‘Jane Austen’s Tricks’, on June 29 (£10) and ‘accomplishment days’ on which museum volunteers will demonstrate embroidery and so on.
A theatre company will enact scenes from the book on April 1 and the entire book will be read in relay on May 17 (01420 83262; www.jane-austenshouse-museum.org.uk). The nearby Flora Twort Gallery at the Petersfield Museum has a display of Regency costume (March 12-September 30, www.petersfieldmuseum.co.uk). At Painshill, Cobham, Surrey, Marie- Elaine Houghton will give a lunchtime talk on March 21 on gardens in the time of Jane Austen (to book, telephone 01932 868113).
In advance of the Jane Austen Summer Ball in Bath (on June 22, www.janeausten.co.uk), the BBC is making a programme on Regency parties-Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball-for Easter. The Hampshire Regency Dancers (www.hrd.org.uk), and the Jane Austen Dancers (www.janeaustendancers bath.co.uk) can expect to be inundated.
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