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Dressing up for Jane- town celebrates Austen connections

VIDEO: So why is Jane Austen revered around the world? And is she still relevant today?

The town of Alton in Hampshire is celebrating Regency Week, and its connections with author Jane Austen, who lived in nearby Chawton.

Visitors had travelled from all over the country

Hundreds of people attended a Regency street fair on Saturday, many in costume.

Some had come from as far afield as America and China for the occasion.

This is the tenth Regency Week in the town, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the writer's death.

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Chawton villagers celebrate Jane Austen bicentenary

Thousands of people have been following in the footsteps of Jane Austen as her former village in Hampshire commemorates 200 years since her death.

The author's home in Chawton joined others in the village to open their gardens to the public.

Many of the gardens displayed scarecrows.

The celebrations are part of Regency Week which officially opens in Alton next weekend.

Open Gardens organiser Flair Kitchling and Imogen Poole from Jane Austen's House Museum told Meridian what the writer's association means to the village:

Exhibition marks 200th anniversary of Austen's 'Emma'

The two hundredth anniversary of one of Jane Austen's most famous novels is being celebrated in Hampshire. The author, who was born in Steventon a few miles from Abingdon in Oxfordshire, wrote 'Emma' in the village of Chawton near Alton. A special exhibition is being held at Chawton House library.

Emma at 200: from English Village to Global Appeal, opens today and marks the novel's global appeal and its enduring popularity.

"Jane Austen's Emma is often considered to be the most 'accomplished' of her novels, and it's the one that is truly inspired by her setting of 'three or four families in a country village'."

– Dr Gillian Dow, Executive Director of Chawton House Library and University of Southampton Associate Professor in English

Items on show include an English first edition of the novel, a first edition from America and a first French translation - both published in 1816. The story has featured on television and film, as well as being adapted to a modern day setting as the inspiration for a Hollywood film.

The exhibition continues at Chawton House Library until Sunday 25th September.

More details here.

"Many people are surprised that England's Jane Austen was published in countries beyond England in her own lifetime - she had no idea, of course, that Emma was in Paris booksellers in 1816.

"Certainly her popularity accelerated in the 20th and 21st century making Jane Austen the global phenomenon she is today. I am delighted to be organising and hosting this exhibition to help reflect this novel's impact worldwide."

– Dr Gillian Dow, Curator of exhibition

Jane Austen ring goes on display

A ring, once owned by Jane Austen is going on display for the first time at her former home at Chawton in Hampshire.

The ring was bought by American singer Kelly Clarkson at auction, but an export ban meant it couldn't leave the country.

An anonymous donor then gave 100 thousand pounds to buy the ring back. ITV Meridian spoke to Curator Mary Guyatt.

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Jane Austen portrait sold for £135,000

The painting by James Andrew was expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000 Credit: ITV News Meridian

A portrait of Jane Austen has been auctioned for £135,000.

The painting by James Andrews was sold at Sotheby's in London and was expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000.

The watercolour portrait is the image that will appear on the new £10 not from 2017.

Jane Austen portrait could fetch up to £200,000

The painting by James Andrew expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000 Credit: ITV News Meridian

A well-recognised portrait of Jane Austen is going on auction today.

The painting by James Andrews is being sold at Sotheby's in London and is expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000.

The watercolour portrait is the image that will appear on the new £10 not from 2017.

Ring owned by Jane Austen is to stay in the UK

The item of jewellery has been bought by the Jane Austen's House Musuem Credit: ITV Meridian

A campaign to buy back a ring that was once owned by Jane Austen has been successful.

The ring went up for auction in 2012 and was bought by American singer Kelly Clarkson.

The Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton wanted to buy the piece of jewellery, but were unable to raise the funds in time for the auction.

The ring was then put under a temporary export ban, meaning Clarkson was unable to take it out of the UK.

The museum set up the 'Bring the Ring Home' campaign soon after.

An anonymous donation of £100,000 was made as soon as the campaign was set up in August, with other Austen fans from around the world adding their donations too.

The museum has since announced that their offer to purchase the ring has been accepted.

Jane Austen's ring 'should stay in this country'

Kelly Clarkson should have been informed that this export ban was likely to happen. This is nothing against her at all - it could be anyone - and it does happen all the time, but we know that it is a shame for her.

But the ring should stay in this country because there is so little of Austen's personal effects left anywhere at all and it would be great to bring it back to the house where she probably wore it and on the bicentennial year of the publishing of Pride And Prejudice."

– Louise West, Fundraiser and former museum curator
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