Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in the BBC's 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
It has been 200 years since the publication of Jane Austen’s most famous novel Pride and Prejudice in 1813.
Set in Georgian England, it tells the story of an unlikely romance between Elizabeth Bennet and the haughty Mr Darcy and is still one of the most popular novels in the English language, immortalised in many film and TV adaptations.
To mark its special anniversary, a weekend of events are to be staged at one of Jane’s favourite places, Godmersham Park, on the A28 between Ashford and Canterbury.
The mansion was owned by Jane's brother Edward Knight and she often stayed there, modelling many of the grand houses in her novels on it.
Keira Knightley in 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s Kent Weekend will see Austen experts descend on the park for a series of talks, discussing topics including the varied film and TV adaptations of her work and the insight into Georgian high society offered by her novels.
There will be an exhibition on the history of Pride and Prejudice and the connections of Jane and her family to Godmersham, and a stall selling second-hand books by the author.
Visitors can also take the opportunity to look round the Godmersham Park Heritage Centre. It opened in 2008 and holds the records of the parishes of Godmersham and Crundale, as well as the Godmersham Park Estate. Items of interest include the diaries of Fanny Knight, Jane’s niece.
The day of talks will take place from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday, September 7 and tickets are £25, to include a seated lunch in the Orangery.
Godmersham Park and its exhibition will be open to visitors from 10am to 1pm on Sunday, September 8, with admission £5, to include entry to the heritage centre. Call 01227 732272.
Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier in the 1940 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
As part of the celebrations, Canterbury's Gulbenkian cinema is screening the 1940 film version of Pride and Prejudice on Friday, September 6.
The black and white film stars Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet and Laurence Olivier as Mr Darcy.
Before the film is shown, there will be a drinks reception and an introductory talk by Professor Andrew Higson.
Tickets £7.50 to include a glass of bucks fizz or soft drink. Call 01227 769075.