Pride and Prejudice – Winchester launches its tourism campaign for 2013

Pride & PrejudiceWinchester City Council is launching a campaign to promote tourism attractions with links to Jane Austen in and around the district to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice in 2013.

Austen received her first printed copy of the book on 29 January 1813. She originally drafted the novel in Steventon and then revised it in her beloved home in Chawton, East Hampshire – now Jane Austen’s House Museum. Visitors flock to the museum to see the original table at which the novels were painstakingly written in quill and ink on parchment. Two hundred years later the title has been declared The British Library’s ‘most adopted’ title in its successful fund-raising campaign that allows contributors to sponsor a particular title and regularly tops the charts as Britain’s favourite novel.

The Museum, along with Chawton House Library, once the home of Austen’s younger brother Edward, Winchester Cathedral and Hinton Ampner are all looking to commemorate the anniversary in a year of special events including special tours, talks and exhibitions. In addition to seminars, evenings and tours focussing on the life and literature of Austen herself, there will also be more general period themed events such as a ball staged by Hampshire Regency Dancers and an exhibition featuring the costumes from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

When the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was aired, the Museum experienced a 175% increase in the number of visitors to the museum – peaking at 55,000 per year. The appeal of the museum has endured, year on year, partially due to the screen adaptations of the books but also because due to developments such as anew education centre and the inclusion of richer period detail in the rooms.

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