A NINE day festival of events celebrating Jane Austen and the Regency period will take place this summer.

Jane Austen Regency Week 2014 will take place from Saturday, June 21 until Sunday 29 in and around the market town of Alton and the nearby village of Chawton. 

Chawton is home to Jane Austen’s House Museum, which is based in the house where Jane spent the last eight years of her life and produced all of her great novels.

2014 is another special year for Jane Austen fans as it marks the 200 th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park. It is also the year in which her ring was saved from being sold and sent out of the country. This ring is now on display at the museum.

This year’s festival boasts a range of activities and events including: an all-day old-fashioned cricket contest with players in period costumes; a unique Read-a-thon with invited guests reading their favourite Mansfield Park excerpts; an elegant and entertaining evening of music and drama from Jane Austen’s era; a Regency Choral evensong; and tea and tours at Chawton House and gardens (once home to Jane Austen’s brother).

And no Regency celebration would be complete without stimulating and lively talks.

Among this year’s speakers are Debbie Charlton, who will be exploring what archaeological interpretation can tell us about the Austen family home and lifestyle (based on the dig at her Steventon home near Basingstoke), Professor John Mullan, who will speak on ‘What Matters in Mansfield Park’ and local historian Jane Hurst, who will talk about ‘Jane Austen’s Alton’. 

Jane will also lead a walk around Chawton after John Mullan’s talk.

Find out more online at janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk.