Two hundred years ago, in July 1809, Jane Austen moved to Chawton village in Hampshire, where her brother had inherited the local manor house from a cousin. Jane lived with her mother in a cottage on the estate, now the Jane Austen House Museum. Here, she revised the manuscripts of ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’, and wrote ‘Mansfield Park’, ‘Emma’ and ‘Persuasion’.
I am not sure whether to be surprised it is as much as two centuries since Jane Austen’s work began to be published, or surprised that it is only two centuries. Her work has had a massive influence on literature and on attitudes to life in these parts. And she is big in Bollywood too. What next? Well, it may be something she’d hate… but if she was around today, who knows?