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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Celebrating the Bicentenary of Jane Austen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 will mark the bicentennial passing of one of the worlds most beloved authors, Jane Austen. Celebrations honoring Miss Austen are being held the world over.

Jane Austen 12/16/1775 ~ 7/18/17 

Both drawings of Jane by Cassandra Austen, the author’s sister.

In England, where Miss Austen was born and lived her entire life, there is an official website dedicated to the yearlong celebrations of all things Jane:

Many of the sites where Jane lived and wrote about in her novels are also hosting various events.

The village of Steventon in Hampshire, England is where Jane Austen was born and spent the first 25 years of her life. The charming village provided inspiration for her novels such as Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice,  and Sense and Sensibility. Sadly, the rectory where she lived with her family was demolished but the church where her father, George, and her brothers, James and Henry, were rectors (ministers) still stands.

Once Jane’s father retired from the ministry he moved his family to Bath, England in 1801. They lived at 4, Sydney Place. Her father passed away there in 1805. The family would stay on until 1807. The healing waters of Bath would influence Jane in her writings of Emma and Persuasion.

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The town of Bath has a Jane Austen Centre and will host several events this year honoring Jane.

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In 1807 Jane, her mother and sister, Cassandra, would settle temporarily in Southampton, England. They took a house in Castle Square, on the site of the Juniper Berry pub. This home was close to where Jane’s brother, Frank a naval captain, and his family lived. Her writings of Mansfield Park have a certain effect from the time Jane spent here. 

Image result for jane austen Southampton, England

The family would then move to Chawton, England in 1809 to live in the former bailiff's house on the Chawton estate. Jane would live here until her passing in 1817. The Jane Austen Museum is now housed in the lovely 17th century brick home. It is considered to be her literary home as several of her novels were published during the time she lived here. Sense & Sensibility was published in 1811 and followed by Pride & Prejudice in 1813 which was an instant success. Mansfield Park was published in 1814 and Emma in 1815. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were both published in 1818, a year after Jane's death in 1817.

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Jane Austen's funeral was held in Winchester Cathedral and she was buried in the north aisle. There is a small plaque at the location.

Of course many of Jane Austen’s fans will want to celebrate but be unable to travel to England. Here are a few ideas so that you may host your own Jane Extravaganza. We’ll begin with links to past posts I’ve created to help you celebrate all things Jane.

Hosting a Regency Era Tea would, whole heartedly, be Jane approved.

Morning dress, fashion plate, hand-colored engraving on paper, published London, July 1815.:

The post includes recipes, links to favors and the finer points of the era’s rules of etiquette and decorum.


Decorations for your party may also include a Jane Austen inspired mantle.


It is an ode to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Mr. Dar

If you wish to dress in the Georgian/Regency Era you will love “Becoming Jane”.

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It shows step by step how to transform tablecloths and modern sunhats into period appropriate attire.

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I have also gathered many of my favorite ideas from around the web on a Pinterest board titled “Jane Austen’s Party”. Be forewarned, everything is so fetching you could end up spending hours in Janeful delight.

Jane Austen Inspired Wedding Shoot

Now my fellow Janeites here are a few images of  our celebratory high tea honouring Jane Austen’s bicentenary from the Decor To Adore Instagram page.

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I will once again be working on moving the Decor To Adore site to WordPress this week and it may be down for a few days.  In the meantime updates will be made on Instagram and the DTA Facebook page.  

The domain will not change.

Drinking tea from pretty tea cups brings out my lighter side!                                                                                                                                                      More

   Just for fun, please tell me your favorite Jane Austen inspired novel or film in the comments. 



GSGreatEscaper said...

Sense and Sensibility, the Emma T version is my favorite without question! So glad you are back on line.

Auntie Em said...

So good to see your blog up and running again. :) Beautiful post. Someday it would be lovely to roam around England and see all the historical site and beautiful towns and villages.
Your costume was so pretty. You could easily mingle in with the locals in their costumes to celebrate this occasion.
Thanks for sharing! :)

Sarah said...

Laura, I know you've been looking forward to this celebration with much preparation. I'm eager to see your tea party! I hope you were successful in securing more copper molds. Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thomspon was my favorite.

Barbara Chapman said...


I'm so glad that you've written about Jane Austen! She is definitely one of my absolute favorite authors ~ I just finished reading a copy of Sense and Sensibility but from copied from the original first edition printing. Not the usual copied from the second edition printing where Jane made some changes.

Happily hopefully sharing your page with my readers over on my French Ethereal FB page,
Barb :)

p.s. Becoming Jane is a favorite as well as many other period British films!

Simply LKJ said...

What a beautiful way to spend a day. Always been a fan of Pride and Prejudice.

Rachel said...

Glad you're back! I'm shocked that I wasn't aware of the bicentennial, I love Jane Austen! Thank you for sharing the news and all of the lovely photos. Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite. I especially love the recent version with Kiera Knightley.

Cecilia Bramhall said...

Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite. I'd love to host a tea party in her honor. Hm, I will peruse your suggestions and examples and come up with something (but after the wedding - really too much going on). How I'd love to go to England to celebrate! One can dream. :)


Bonnie said...

Loved seeing you in your" Becoming Jane" dress that you created. It is so impressive.
Maybe next year I will host a tea in her honor. I look forward to seeing yours.
Great post with interesting facts and pictures. The drawing of Jane by her sister is lovely.
Jane's literary talent is amazing. To write the wonderful novels just a year apart is mind boggling.
It's hard to have a favorite.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Loved this post. Jane Austen is always a good idea! xo

Barbara H. said...

Lovely photos and ideas! My favorite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion, and my favorite Austen-inspired novel is Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay.

Jeanie said...

Oh Laura, how wonderful! I'll have to check out the links, too. Just watched a doc with historian Lucy Worsley (love her!) on Jane Austen and her various residences through time. It's on youtube, I think you'd enjoy it if you haven't seen it already!