Live updates

Hampshire Museum bids for Jane Austen's ring

A Jane Austen museum in Hampshire has launched an appeal to raise £152,450 to keep a ring once owned by the famous author in Britain after it was bought by a US popstar.

Singer Kelly Clarkson acquired the turquoise and gold ring at auction at Sotheby's in London in 2012, but Culture minister Ed Vaizey put an export ban on it until September 30 2013, to allow someone in Britain "to show a serious expression of interest to buy the ring".

This expression has now been lodged by the museum based in Austen's home in Chawton and the appeal has received a £100,000 anonymous donation.

Fundraiser and former museum curator Louise West said: "We are very confident we can match this price."

Should Jane Austen's ring be saved for the nation?

She is one of the country's most celebrated novelists, writing many of her works in Chawton in Hampshire. And only last week it was announced that Jane Austen will appear on the next £10 note.

But a row is brewing over whether one of only three items of jewellery owned by the author should be allowed to leave the country. American singer Kelly Clarkson bought a gold and turquoise ring for more than £150,000 at auction last year.

Advertisement

Jane Austin image on £10 note

The new note will look like this Credit: Bank of England

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney confirmed that Jane Austen will appear on a Bank of England banknote: the next new character following Sir Winston Churchill. The Governor said: “Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical

figures to appear on our banknotes."

He added: "Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature. As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and in future, Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals."

The Austen note will be issued as a £10 note, within a year of the Churchill £5 note, which is targeted for issue during 2016.

Sir Mervyn King hints at Jane Austen bank note

The outgoing governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King has hinted that the Hampshire author Jane Austen has been mooted as a candidate to appear on bank notes.

The £5 note featuring the 19th century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry Credit: Bank of England

He refused to confirm that Austen is a candidate to appear on the £10 bank note, but did stretch as far as saying that "Jane Austen is waiting in the wings".

There is currently only one woman on British bank notes, apart from the Queen. She is the 19th century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, but could soon be replaced with Winston Churchill.

King said that "one thing we are quite determined to avoid is anysuggestion that the £5 note can in some sense be reserved for women, that wouldbe demeaning."

A recent poll by the Guardian found that the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were the two female forerunners.

Jane Austen's first class delivery

One of the set of Royal Mail's Special Stamps featuring all six published Jane Austen novels Credit: Press Association Images

A special set of stamps have gone on sale featuring Jane Austen novels to mark the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice. The Royal Mail also said that letters posted in Chawton in Hampshire, where Austen lived, and Steventon, where she was born, will have a special postmark for a week.

Andrew Hammond from Royal Mail said: "When you think of great British authors, Jane Austen inevitably comes to mind. Her novels have contributed immeasurably to British culture over the last two centuries.

"New generations continue to fall in love with her work through television and film adaptations, as well as, of course, the books themselves."

The stamps celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice and go on sale from today. Credit: Press Association Images

Advertisement

Load more updates