Jane Austen gets her day

A wax work of Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath

Shakespeare has one, as does Charles Dickens. Now Jane Austen has joined these literary luminaries by having a day celebrated in her honour.

A wax work of Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath
A wax work of Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath

‘Jane Austen Day’ will take place on 16th December – which would have been the author’s 239th birthday – and to mark the occasion, Austen fans and organisations will be involved in events and activities all around the world.

Helping to co-ordinate this global celebration is the Jane Austen Centre, located in Bath. They have set up a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/janeaustenday where Austen fans can post the numerous book readings, tea parties, scene recreations, dancing and gatherings that will be undertaken in the name of the famous author of ‘Pride & Prejudice’.

Among those events listed so far, include a Birthday Tea Party being organised by the Jane Austen Society of North America and an Austen re-enactment in Argentina.

Martin Slater on duty as Mr Bennet outside the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street.
Martin Slater on duty as Mr Bennet outside the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street.

The Jane Austen Centre, which is home to an exhibition charting the author’s time in the designated World Heritage City, also has various activities happening throughout the day.

This includes an event at Bath’s original Theatre Royal, located in Old Orchard Street, organised through its sister organisation, the Bath International Jane Austen Festival http://www.janeaustenfestivalbath.co.uk/jane-austen-birthday/

The event sees well-known actors Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe giving dramatic readings from the author’s most famous works in a venue that Jane Austen knew well, wrote about in ‘Northanger Abbey’ and actually attended in 1799.

Adrian Lukis famously played George Wickham, opposite Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, in the BBC’s 1995 version of ‘Pride & Prejudice’.

A Centre spokesman said: “The Jane Austen Centre is pleased to be part of what is sure to be a wonderful day for the worldwide Austen community and it is fantastic Jane now has a day in her honour, so reflecting her status as one of the world’s greatest ever writers.”