The Sitting with Jane Art Trail: Celebrating Jane Austen, Basingstoke, and Literary Tourism

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To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the non-profit company Destination Basingstoke commissioned artists to design Austen-themed, book-shaped benches that would be placed in and around Basingstoke, England, during the summer of 2017 and sold at auction in September to raise money for charity. Over twenty artists, many of them local to the area, contributed to designing and painting twenty-four book benches, and companies in the Basingstoke and Deane Borough sponsored twenty-two of the benches. The public art trail, appropriately named Sitting with Jane, was a part of the Hampshire Culture Trust’s “Jane Austen 200—A Life in Hampshire,” a year-long series filled with exhibitions, walks, talks, and performances devoted to honoring the writer.

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