JANE AUSTEN REGENCY WEEK IS HELD IN ALTON AND CHAWTON IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND AT THE END OF JUNE EVERY YEAR.
It is a Jane Austen festival like no other, with events held in Jane’s home and locations that Jane herself frequented, and the opportunity to meet Jane’s family and see Austen artefacts and family heirlooms. This year’s festival runs from Saturday the 22nd to Sunday the 30th of June and the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation will be there!
Our founder, Caroline Jane Knight (Jane Austen’s fifth great niece who grew up at Chawton House on the ancestral estate where Jane herself lived and wrote) will arrive in the UK the week before to spend some time with her family and make the final preparations for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation events at the festival. The day before the festival, Caroline will be joined by our Program Managers and Literacy Ambassadors from the UK, Scotland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA and Australia!
Jane Austen Regency Week 2019 is sponsored by our founder, Caroline Jane Knight, and Austen Heritage. We have lots of exciting events - here’s our itinerary for the week:
Friday 21st June 7pm– Jane Austen Heritage Dinner at Chawton House
Dine like Jane Austen! Hosted by Austen Heritage, this is a unique opportunity to join Jane Austen’s family for a Regency inspired dinner, served in the dining room at Chawton House at Edward Austen Knight’s dining table. Enjoy a private viewing of rarely seen family heirlooms from Chawton House and dine with the last Austen descendants to live at Chawton House – Caroline Jane Knight (author of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage), her parents Jeremy and Carol Knight, and her brother, Paul Edward Knight.
Each dish for the evening’s menu has been created by Caroline, who spent many happy hours as a child cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen at Chawton House.
This Regency themed dining experience, in costume, is inspired by Austen Knight family recipes, the food eaten by Jane herself, and dishes mentioned in her novels and letters. The menu includes Mr Bingley’s Netherfield Ball White Soup, Pheasant, Mr Martin’s Pickled Walnut Pie, Miss Bates’ Baked Apples and, of course, Mr Knightley’s Strawberries! Only 14 tickets will be available for this unique event at £395 each (or £650 a pair). Tickets go on sale on April 1st. To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 22nd June 10am to 3pm– Regency Market in Alton High Street
Come and meet Caroline and the team at the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation stall, and find out more about what the Foundation does and our volunteer programs. Free event.
Saturday 22nd June 7.30pm – Regency Ball at The Assembly Rooms
Not a JALF event specifically, but it’s great fun and we will all be there! For tickets: https://bit.ly/2F3VqMN
Sunday 23rd June 12 noon – Jane Austen Parade for Literacy Fundraiser from Jane Austen’s House to Chawton House
We are retracing Jane’s steps from the front of her cottage in the middle of the village to ‘Chawton Great House’ (as Jane called her brother’s home) to raise money for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. We will stop and visit Jane’s statue in the churchyard on the way. You can help us raise money for our next literacy project (to be announced in May) by joining us for the Parade in Regency costume (not essential) and encouraging your friends and family to sponsor you. Our 2018 Jane Austen Walk/Parade for Literacy raised over $6,000! To register and have a fundraising page set up for you on Virgin Money Giving, email: email@example.com
Sunday 23rd June 12.30pm to 3pm – Austen Heritage Regency Picnic at Chawton House
Join Jane Austen’s family, Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Ambassadors and special guests for a Regency picnic on the lawns of Chawton House. Ticket price includes a Regency picnic box with food designed by Caroline Jane Knight (Jane Austen’s fifth great niece), home-made lemonade, and entertainment by actress Susannah Harker (Jane Bennet, BBC TV Pride & Prejudice 1995), Sophie Andrews, and the Pineapple Appreciation Society. Picnic starts at 12.30pm. Hosted by Austen Heritage, all profits will be donated to Chawton House and the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. Regency costume encouraged but not essential. Please bring a picnic blanket. In the case of poor weather, the picnic will be held inside Chawton House. For information and tickets: https://bit.ly/2NV70g4
Sunday 23rd June 4pm – Pride & Possibilities at The Assembly Rooms in Alton
Caroline Jane Knight talks about her family’s library at Chawton House, Caroline’s childhood home, the inspiration behind the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. The eclectic collection, put together over centuries, was inherited by Jane’s brother Edward and Jane herself enjoyed access to the same library during the most productive period of her writing career. Hear how Caroline would sneak into the library at night to look at the books and the family bookplates and discover why, despite hours of searching, Caroline was unable to find copies of Jane’s novels in the collection. For information and tickets: https://bit.ly/2J4eT4d
Monday 24th June 10.30am – A morning with Alison Larkin
Comedienne, novelist, award-winning audiobook narrator of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, and Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Ambassador. Raised not far from Chawton by loving adoptive parents, when Alison learned her birth parents were from the American South she moved to New York and became a stand-up comic because what else do you do? She wrote The English American, a bestselling autobiographical novel on the subject, appeared on Broadway, and has since narrated over 200 audiobooks, many of them NY Times bestsellers. Hailed by The Times as “Hugely entertaining,” Alison will talk about her journey to and from America and read passages from Northanger Abbey & Persuasion with Poems and The History of England by Jane Austen. US$5 from the sale of every Alison Larkin audiobook from www.alisonlarkinpresents.com is donated to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. For tickets: https://bit.ly/2F5n5gB
Monday 24th June 6.30pm – ‘We then went to Wedgwood’s’ at Chawton House
Caroline Jane Knight talks about dining and entertaining at Chawton House, her childhood home. As a young girl, Caroline ate from the same dining room table and Wedgwood china as Jane Austen, and loved cooking family recipes with her mother and grandmother. Caroline will share some of her favourite recipes and discuss the history of her family’s Wedgwood dinner service, ordered when Jane visited Wedgwood’s London showroom with her brother Edward in September 1813. Some rarely seen pieces of this important family heirloom will be on show. For tickets: https://bit.ly/2HsJQg7
For more information and tickets for these and lots of other events at Jane Austen Regency Week, see: www.janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk
We’d love to see you there, but if you can’t make it, JALF Literacy Ambassador Rita Watts from All Things Jane Austen will be doing the official coverage of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation at Jane Austen Regency Week 2019 on YouTube - details to be announced.
We’re going to raise lots of money for literacy and have a ball - just got a few Regency costumes to organise now!
Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Team
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Image credit: Julia Grantham