What's the Jane Austen News this week?Austen Activist Strikes Again Activist Caroline Criado-Perez, who campaigned so hard to get Jane Austen featured on the new £10 bank notes, has been on the campaign trail again. This time it was in the cause of getting a statue of a woman built in Parliament Square. Her online petition received more than 85,000 signatures and now Dame Millicent Fawcett, who was the founder of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, will be honoured with her own statue next year to mark one hundred years since the first British women got the vote. The NUWSS used peaceful tactics to campaign, such as lobbbying MPs and undertaking non-violent demonstrations, and lead to the emergence of Emmeline Pankhurst's suffragette movement. Ms Fawcett's statue will be designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing (who will be the first female sculptor to have a work displayed in Parliament Square) and will join those of Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela, already on display. The Mayor of London said the statue was "long overdue" and Austen-note-activist Ms Criado-Perez said she was "thrilled" with the project.
As a name Compton Verney is remarkably similar to Thornton Lacey, and it also lies just off the old Roman roads of the Fosse Way, which connected the Leighs' houses of Adlestrop and Stoneleigh, and along which Jane must have travelled when visiting her relatives.
Director of Compton Verney's Art Gallery and Park, Professor Steven Parissien.To commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death therefore, Compton Verney are holding a number of events linked to the author throughout October such as the Rocco Singers performing songs from Jane's lifetime in the chapel, and a talk about Austen's use of comedy in her writing. Whether Compton Verney really was Thornton Lacey in Austen's mind, however, is something we'll never know.
The amount of money raised for the charity is a great outcome for the cancer patients and their loved ones who will be helped and supported by the new centre, which will be a beacon of hope.
Merv Rees, Ark Cancer Centre Charity Trustee
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