A HAMPSHIRE village will be celebrating nine-days of all things Jane Austen when their festival kicks off this summer.

From Saturday June 21 to Sunday June 29 the village of Chawton and nearby Alton will host the Jane Austen Regency Week.

The village is home to Jane Austen’s house museum where she spent the last eight years of her life and wrote six novels.

This year also marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park.

The festival boasts a range of activities and events including an all-day old-fashioned cricket contest with players in period costumes, a unique read-a-thon with guests reading their favourite Mansfield Park excerpts, an elegant and entertaining evening of music and drama from Jane Austen’s era, a regency choral evensong as well as tea and tours at Chawton House and gardens.

Lively and informative talks will be held at the house as part of the celebrations, among which will be speakers Debbie Charlton, who will be exploring what archaeological interpretation can tell us about the Austen family home and lifestyle, Professor John Mullan, who will tease out the important themes of Mansfield Park in ‘What Matters in Mansfield Park’ and local historian Jane Hurst who will speak on ‘Jane Austen’s Alton’. Regency Day in Alton kick starts the festival with carriage rides, a May pole and country dancing, a market and people in regency costume around the town. Visitors can also take a trail through Alton and across to Chawton, to find out more about the novelist’s connections to the area.

To find out more visit janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk.