Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Next week marks the official 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s classic. Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy have spawned a cottage industry, with everything from books that retell and extend the original story to stamps and custom dolls.

You may have seen some of the ways people are celebrating, such as the Netherfield Ball I mentioned last week. Here are a few more ways you can commemorate Pride and Prejudice’s 200th:

  • The Royal Mail is issuing a series of stamps, which will be available for use in February, but you can order them now. They're lovely pastels with scenes from Jane's work.
  • The Dolls House Emporium is introducing a pair of beautiful porcelain hand-crafted dolls, portraying Elizabeth and Darcy in all their finery on their wedding day. With a minimum purchase, the company will throw in supporting gifts until May, including a pretty heart cushion, complete with lace edging and "E and F" embroidery-design transfer; a watercolour painting of Darcy’s Pemberley estate; a pair of coat hangers with E and F initials; a pair of silhouette portraits; and a beautiful floral wedding garland. Note that the dolls may not be available until the end of the month--the emporium provided this sneak peek for Nineteen Teen readers.
  • If you’ll be in the Baltimore area before July 31, stop by Goucher College Libraryto view its special exhibit. The college is supposed to have the largest collection of items related to Jane Austen and her times of any in the U.S.
  • If you’ll be in Suffolk, Virginia, on March 9, you may want to attend a day of events at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be in the UK, Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge is hosting a conference on the book June 21-23 to discuss the history behind it and, as they call it, its "literary afterlife."
  • And the Jane Austen House Museum has its own Facebook page with information on events as well as a special page online. Pride and Prejudice, live. Be still my heart!

I’d love to keep a running list here. Anyone else seen ways that Pride and Prejudice is being celebrated? Tell us with a comment!

Then go read the book or watch one of the film adaptations one more time. You know you want to. Oh, Colin!

No comments: