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Jane Austen’s House Museum launches special website for Pride and Prejudice celebrations in 2013

10 December 2012

Jane Austen’s House Museum has launched a special website to highlight all Pride and Prejudice events taking place in 2013 throughout the world. 2013 is the 200th anniversary year of the first publication of the novel which has been voted as the book the nation couldn’t do without.

Anyone who is holding a Pride & Prejudice event in 2013 can submit the details to the website so that fans of the novel will have the opportunity to discover events taking place anywhere in the world.

Madelaine Smith, Marketing and Events Manager at the Museum said ‘We have already heard of events taking place as far afield as Brisbane in Australia, and Brazil as well as many other events more locally.’

The Museum in the village of Chawton was once the home of Jane Austen and is the house in which she prepared Pride and Prejudice for publication. On 29th January 1813 Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra saying,  ‘I have got my own darling Child from London’ referring to the arrival of her copy of the book which was originally published in three volumes. The Museum will be hosting a yearlong programme of events on a theme of Pride and Prejudice including exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and workshops.

Museum Curator Louise West said ‘We do not have the facilities at the Museum to offer events every day throughout the bicentenary, but we aim to be a hub and promote the conferences, exhibitions, meetings and events that will be happening around the world. The website will be one central point for Pride and Prejudice events as well as other articles and information.’

The website address is www.prideandprejudice200.org.uk

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275 words

Release: Immediate

Notes to editors:

Website www.prideandprejudice200.org.uk  will be launched on Sunday 16th December, Jane Austen’s birthday.

Jane Austen’s House Museum is an independent museum dedicated to the life and work of Jane Austen, one of the most popular and important novelists that England has ever produced. The house at Chawton is where she spent the last eight years of her life. It is of international importance as the place where she did the majority of her mature writing.

Key facts about Pride and Prejudice

·  First published in January 1813. Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra on 29th January saying ‘I have got my own darling Child from London’.

·  The original printrun of Pride and Prejudice was probably no more than 1500 copies. Today Pride and Prejudice sells worldwide in excess of 110,000 copies a year in over 130 different  editions [BookScan Neilsen Data]

·  Voted the book the nations couldn’t live without in the 2007 World Book Day Poll.

·  Is the most frequently adopted book in the British Library ‘Adopt a Book Scheme.’

·  The opening line of the novel is one of the most often quoted (and misquoted) in English literature – ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’

·  In 1995 visitors to Jane Austen’s House Museum increased from 20000 to 55000 after the broadcast of the BBC TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Press & photograph enquiries:  Madelaine Smith

T: 01420 83262  e: madelaine.smith@jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk

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