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“We now have another girl, a present plaything for her sister Cassy and a future companion. She is to be Jenny,” wrote the Revd George Austen to his sister-in-law Mrs. Walter on December 17th, 1775. He says, “You have doubtless been for some time in expectation of hearing from Hampshire, and perhaps wondered a little we were in our old age grown such bad reckoners but so it was, for Cassy [Mrs. Austen] certainly expected to have been brought to bed a month ago: however last night the time came, and without a great deal of warning, everything was soon happily over” (quoted in Jane Austen: A Family Record [2004], by Deirdre Le Faye).

Happy birthday to Jane Austen, born 237 years ago today!

In honour of Austen’s birthday, and in anticipation of the 200th anniversary of theJane Austen's writing table publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s House Museum has launched a new website today, “Pride & Prejudice 200,” that co-ordinates information about events being held around the world in 2013 to celebrate Austen’s “light & bright & sparkling” novel. Pride and Prejudice was published by Thomas Egerton on January 28th, 1813.

The 2013 events include exhibitions, writing workshops, lectures, dramatic performances, and marathon readings of the novel, and Jane Austen’s House Museum invites groups from around the world to send information about celebrations planned in their areas. For news about upcoming events, you can “like” “Pride & Prejudice 200” on Facebook. You can also follow @JaneAustenHouse on Twitter.