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Adrian Lukis (Wickham) to appear at Jane Austen Festival

Adrian LukisAmongst the 60 or so events crammed into this year’s annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will be the special appearance by actor Adrian Lukis (George Wickham in the BBC 1995 adaptation of P&P). Very appropriate as this year marks the 200th anniversary of the sale of the copyright of Pride & Prejudice to the publisher Thomas Egerton. Jane Austen wrote excitedly in November 1812, “P & P is sold. – Egerton gives £110 for it. – I would rather have had £150, but we could not both be pleased, & I am not at all surprised that he should not chuse to hazard so much…”  Wow what a bargain! Jackie Herring the Festival Director says, “ We felt it right and correct to start celebrating what is probably the most popular book in the English language this year, rather than leave it until the anniversary of the actual publication date next year.” This year, the 12th annual Jane Austen Festival runs from Friday 14th to Saturday 22nd September 2012. A highlight of every Festival is the world famous, record breaking Grand Regency Promenade where 500+ fans in full Regency costume parade through the streets of Bath – it’s a rare delight and takes place on Saturday 15th of September. Information Full details of Festival events can be found here  Tickets are on sale now from Bath Box Office (more…)
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A proposal at the Centre

Marriage proposal witnessed by Martin SalterWe’ve just been sent some lovely photos of Zach’s proposal to Julie which happened recently in the Regency Tea Room. It’s so romantic. Here’s what they said; We cannot express our gratitude for all that you did to make sure that our special moment was perfect. We are so happy and we thank you with all of our hearts. (more…)
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What would you ask Jane Austen if you could?

New Jane Austen PortraitWhat one question would you ask Jane Austen? We posed a question on our Jane Austen Facebook site recently, ‘What one question would you ask Jane Austen if you could?’ Well, we got some great answers, here’s a selection; Sarah obviously acutely aware of the value of a signed novel would ask,  “can you sign my copy of your book?”  We like that one. More technically, Fatima suggested, ‘I’d ask for the ending of Sanditon.’ On a lighter note Betty suggested, Was the Apple Pie your favourite? Here’s one from Dorothy who like many others struggled with Jane’s 3rd book – “What were you trying to achieve with Mansfield Park and what went wrong?” There were a number looking for insights into Jane’s love life and the content of those burned letters to her sister. Take a look for yourself on our Jane Austen Facebook site. You will find lots of other interesting items to take your fancy. (more…)
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Dressing Up Regency Style with hats, bonnets, reticules and scarves

Trying on some Regency CostumeWe’ve recently added a new section to the exhibition where we allow our visitors the opportunity for dressing up using Regency bonnets, top hats, shawls, fans, reticules and parasols. As you would imagine, it is going down very well and everyone is having a lot of fun. When you visit you must try it yourself. Help with dressing up and pictures Our friendly staff are always on hand to offer tips and advice on how to wear the various bonnets and accessories. They will also offer to take your photo on your own camera if you wish. The staff will also suggest good places to stand to get that authentic shot. This is proving an extremely popular part of the exhibition and we intend to increase the quantity of items to try on to include various dresses and spencer jackets. There are often hoots of delight as our visitors have fun posing in front of the full length mirror or in front of one of our Regency displays   What Jane Austen said in a letter to her sister Cassandra whilst she was holidaying in Bath in 1799 Flowers are very much worn, and fruit is still more the thing. Elizabeth has a bunch of strawberries, and I have seen grapes, cherries, plums, and apricots. There are likewise almonds and raisins, French plums, and tamarinds at the grocers’, but I have never seen any of them in hats… Elizabeth has given me a hat, and it is not only a pretty (more…)
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Lizzie is Back

LizzieBack from holiday and looking fit and relaxed Great News, our iconic front of house mannequin ‘Lizzie’ is back from her Spring break and is looking good! Having had a few minor mishaps over the years including a couple of falls, we felt she needed a short vacation to bring the colour back to her cheeks. Well, she is back and looking good. Our visitors really enjoy having their pictures taken with her and she is keeping our meeter/greeter Martin company. We were amazed by her popularity and whilst she was away, many visitors were quite upset to find she wasn’t to be seen. It is quite amazing how many shots of Lizzie there are on Google Images. Have a look for yourself. (more…)
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‘Lizzie’ is taken away

Lizzie in winter‘Lizzie’ in the winter outside the Jane Austen Centre It is a sad day today. This morning at 10.30am a man in a van came and took away our ‘Lizzie’. She has been with us for many years. She never complains or minds the extremes of the weather as she welcomes people to the Jane Austen Centre day in, day out. The good news is that she will be back with us in about 4 weeks after her little ‘holiday’ and, like all of us, will return refreshed and renewed having been pampered, preened and painted by Gems Studio in London. Thought you might like this image of her braving the snow just after Christmas. Come back soon. (more…)
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Ebay Jane Austen Auction outcomes

hfxhfhSally Hawkin's green 'Persuasion' dress Film costumes are being despatched to all parts of the globe this week as the ebay Jane Austen costume winners celebrate their good fortune. This highly unusual and immensely entertaining auction ended on Sunday. Those of you who didn’t get involved are probably kicking yourself as there were some undoubted bargains to be had. Perhaps the pick of the bunch being being ‘Ann Elliot’s’ green dress as worn by Sally Hawkins in Persuasion which went for just £127! That’s under $200. You can find out the final selling prices, where in the world the items would end up and how many people were involved in the bidding, along with some nice pics of the items themselves by following this link I wonder how many of these costumes will feature in this year’s Jane Austen Festival in Bath. (more…)
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Film Costumes up for Auction on Ebay

Grab yourself some film costumes bargains! Anne Eliot's Spencer An unusual auction of original film costumes from Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Miss Austen Regrets go under the Ebay hammer starting tomorrow 15th of March. In a surprising move BAFTA and EMMY award winning designer Andrea Galer has decided it is time to move on these much loved items. In colaboration with The Jane Austen Centre Online Giftshop, Ms Galer has handpicked many costumes and accessories that are likely to be fought over by Austen and film fans. Andrea Galer says, ‘Having made these costumes which have helped Sally Hawkins and Oliver Williams really feel their way into character, I no longer need to own them. In moving them on I want other people to be able to feel that connection with the skills and materials of the past.’ David Baldock, Director of The Jane Austen Centre in Bath says, ‘Having worked with Andrea in the past we were lucky enough to have been able to purchase a number of her film costumes. These costumes now enhance our exhibition display. The costumes and accessories have been of immense interest to fans of Austen and Regency fashion.’ Everyone can get involved as all of the items will start the auction at 99p! There will be a total of 21 lots spread over a 2 week auction window. You can find all these items until Sunday 25th of March 2012 here:  http://stores.ebay.co.uk/thejaneaustencentre (more…)