The Sitting With Jane art trail have curated a collection of BookBenches, artworks that celebrate Jane Austen's heritage in north Hampshire. Each piece is sold to the highest bidder at the auction event on 15th September.

''The 24 professionally designed BookBench sculptures will be landmark attractions during the event to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, and those involved in sponsoring and purchasing them will be contributing to a longer lasting legacy,'' Merv Rees, Trustee of the Ark Cancer Centre Charity

Destination Basingstoke conceived the idea for Sitting With Jane as a way to encourage lovers of literature to visit the beautiful countryside destination which boasts a wealth of local history - including connections with Jane Austen.

Jane Austen is one of Britain's most beloved authors. The Pride and Prejudice writer will now be gracing the new £10 note, making her the only woman apart from the Queen to appear on a British note. Born in Hampshire in 1775, Austen's tale reveal to readers of today life from the perspective of women in 19th century Britain. Her portrayals were not always pretty, with her characters often subject to criticism from men and judgement from the the aristocratic ruling class.

Austen has been celebrated posthumously, having died with no recognition as she published her works anonymously. After her death, her works were republished under her name.

Ignoring her illness, Austen continued to write as she suffered with Hodgkin's lymphoma. This year, as well as the £10 note, other events have marked 200 years since the writer's passing, such as the charity auction taking place at Andrew Smith & Son on 15th September, 2017, in partnership with Sitting With Jane.

Comment