200th anniversary of Emma to be celebrated in Hampshire

Date Posted: 12/03/2016

2016 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Emma, with the focus of the celebration to be at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

Jane Austen’s House Museum will be running an exhibition called Emma in Print from the 23rd March – giving visitors the chance to explore the stories behind the publication of the novel.

One highlight of the exhibition is The Prince Regent’s first edition copy Emma, which is on loan to the museum from  The Queen.

The novel was dedicated to Prince Regent from the suggestion that the Prince’s librarian, James Stanier Clarke. Austen’s correspondence with Clarke her publisher John Murray, will also form part of the displays.

Other events for this year include A Most Fortuitous Match: an evening of heavenly music-making, on 23rd April, and two writing workshops with an ‘Emma’ theme.

These are titled Deception, Romance and Irony: Consulting the Perfect Plot and Bullies, Snobs and Heroes: Compelling Characters in Action/Populating Your Fiction, taking place respectively on 16th April and 21st May.

Outside, there will be picnics in the garden, including a special Picnic Day with performances by Madding Crowd on 10th July.

Scenes from Emma will also be performed in the garden by theatre company Foot in the Door on 2nd May.

Other celebrations

Additionally, an eight day Jane Austen Regency Week will take place between 18th and 26th of June, in and around the market town of Alton and nearby Chawton. Alton is where Jane once shopped, banked, collected and delivered post, visited friends and caught the stagecoach to London.

This year’s festival will include regency-style, music, dining, drama and film, talks and walks, a vintage fair and a regency day with a dancing workshop in the day, followed by a regency ball in the evening.

As part of the Regency Week, Jane Austen’s House Museum will also hold a Midsummer Evening Opening on 21st June. This will feature the head gardener leading small groups around the garden, talking about the planting and future plans for the garden.

For more information visit www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk or www.janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk.

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