I can’t help thinking what it would have been like to live in an era full of china tea sets, corsets and Mr Darcys, a time when driving into town meant a pleasant ride in a horse and carriage, and summertime consisted of croquet and lawn tennis -- some of the things Elizabeth Bennet would have been all too familiar with growing up in early 19th-century England.
Seem all too unfamiliar for the 21st century? Visit the stunning city of Bath, Jane Austen’s home from 1801-1806, and with a little imagination discover this exciting period in English history. It's a city of unchanged Georgian architecture and narrow cobbled streets which Jane herself would have walked through.
Delve further into the life and works of Jane by visiting the Jane Austen Centre in the heart of this beautiful city. The centre displays a permanent exhibition detailing her life in Bath, and how her time there had an impact on her writing. There is even a dressing up box full of 19th-century garments and a regency tearoom offering Tea with Mr Darcy, with finger sandwiches, traditional tea and scones, and scrumptious Crawford crumpets.
A date for the diary: 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Jane Austen enthusiasts will flock to Gay Street on 28 January to be a part of a 24-hour "readathon" of Pride and Prejudice. The novel will be read by up to 140 celebrities, authors, politicians, musicians, Olympians, school children, competition winners and personalities, all dressed in period costume. It is still undecided who will be reading undoubtedly one of the most famous opening lines in English literature, a classic quote and an insight into 19th-century courting: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife".