‘World first’ statue of Jane Austen to be unveiled

Jane Austen has been acknowledged as a novelist loved across the world. In Steventon, Southern England which is birthplace of the Pride and Prejudice’s author, the first statue will be unveiled Tuesday.

Sculptor Adam Roud created this life sized bronze figure as a part of a series of events marking the 200th anniversary of the writer’s death. Roud said about the statue that “it’s my own interpretation of her,” had taken nearly five months to complete.

UK’s National Portrait Gallery in London holds the only confirmed sketch drawn in water colors by her sister Cassandra.

Roud confessed that he knew about that image and “That has been hovering in the back of my mind,” he said, “but really I’d have preferred if that painting hadn’t existed at all.”

“For the sculpture, I wanted a believable figure of a woman walking through the town square,” he explained, conceding: “No doubt I’ll be praised by some and criticized by others.”

One series of exhibition along with flower festival ll be held in the area to  mark the bicentenary of her death.

Local Member of Parliament Maria Miller said that “I really wanted a lasting monument to Austen in our town center”. She wanted to show the importance of this monument.

Miller said “We can honor our most famous and really world-renowned resident, which does also give us a chance to recognize women in public art”.

“This was where she lived her life and it was the surrounding area of Hampshire that inspired her novels. It’s a hugely important moment for the town.”

Steventon is the area where Austen was born and her father worked as a local minister in 1775 here. She wrote novels including Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. At the age of 41 she died and cause of her death is much of speculations, but it is thought that she may have been suffering from Addison’s Disease.


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