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"Pride & Prejudice" commemorates 200th anniversary of publication

12-18-2012 09:10 BJT

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Sunday, December 16th, was the birthday of renowned English writer Jane Austen. Born in 1775, her stories of love, society and marriage in 19th century England continue to attract millions of readers around the world, along with many TV and film adaptations.

Home to Jane Austen. The tiny village of Chawton, in Hampshire, is where the writer spent the last 8 years of her life.

It’s also the place where the author revised and published her most famous novels. Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion were all written here. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey were written earlier, but revised and finally published from here.

The 17th century red brick house is now a museum dedicated to the author. Visitors can see a large collection of personal items and furniture including the family piano.

Sunday, December 16th, was the birthday of
renowned English writer Jane Austen.

And perhaps most famous of all is the tiny table where Austen would sit and write on small scraps of paper that she put together to form the manuscripts of her novels.

Louise West, Curator of Jane Austen Museum, said, "People can’t quite believe that she created these masterpieces on this table and I think it’s the one thing that if there was a fire we all agree, that’s the thing we’d run and get and run out of the house with."

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice on January 28th 1813, the museum will be putting two original first edition copies of the book on display.

Sunday, December 16th, was the birthday of renowned English writer Jane Austen.

The first given to Jane’s brother, Edward is signed by his daughter, Marianne Knight. The second belonged to Austen and is signed by Lady Caroline Lamb, the mistress of the British poet, Lord Byron.

Austen was paid a one-off fee of 110 pounds by publisher Thomas Egerton of Whitehall for Pride and Prejudice. Egerton is said to have made at least 450 pounds from the first two editions alone. But by the time Austen had written Emma in December 1815 she had realised the worth of her books.

"She really did push the boundaries. She changed her publisher when she was writing Emma, because she thought she deserved more money. And I think that’s a really interesting thing about her, she liked the money that she made from her books, she wrote them...I think she couldn’t have not written them because she was a creative person, but she wanted to get paid properly for them, because she knew that people appreciated them, so she was very much an early feminist." Louise West said.

Museum staff say they expect thousands of celebratory lectures, readings and productions of Pride and Prejudice to take place across the globe in honour of the 200th anniversary of the classic novel.


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Editor:Zheng Limin |Source:

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