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A trio of Jane Austen-themed events this month at libraries

Article date - 01 November 2017

Jane Austen fans are in for a treat this month when a trio of unique, Jane Austen-themed events take place in St Helens libraries, on the bicentenary of her death.
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2017 marks 200 years since the renowned author’s death, but Austen is still considered one of the greatest writers on the subjects of love, social standing and the human condition.

An Austen-themed murder mystery, a touring letter-writing bureau and a comedic look at the author’s everyday life will all feature as part of the ninth season of the nationally-recognised Cultural Hubs, arts-in-libraries programme.

‘An Austentatious Murder’ is brought to Eccleston Library on Thursday 2 November, at 5:15pm and 7:30pm by murder mystery group Highly Suspect.

App developers have now perfected the ‘Austen Algorithm’ – the key to finding the perfect partner. The new Dating Mr Darcy app is due to be launched at Eccleston Library, but moments before it goes live, its creator is found dead of a broken heart. But which Austen fan is the killer? What clues can be found in Austen’s works, and who will end up dating Mr Darcy?

Grill the suspects, crack the codes and discover the wit and wisdom of one of the world’s finest writers, in an Austen-related murder mystery that will require all your sense and sensibilities to solve.

The event is suitable for ages 12 and above, and lasts approximately two hours. Book tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Then, on Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 November, Laura Jamieson’s Travelling Letter Exchange will land in Newton-le-Willows Library, reminding residents of the craft and creativity of letter-writing, which was intrinsic to Austen’s life and works. Austen wrote over 3,000 letters in her life, and the few that remain give us insight into the beloved author’s character.

Residents are invited to sit down and put pen to paper – writing a letter and creating a new record of life in the North West. Everyone who writes a letter will receive one back. The bureau is free to access, just drop in during library open hours.

On the theme of Austen’s letters, and concluding the libraries’ Jane Austen 200 celebrations, LipService theatre presents their comic performance, Thrills and Quills – Jane Austen’s Life in Letters. How odd was the Georgian postal system, and what fun might Austen have had with a Twitter account?

Find out at Newton-le-Willows Library on Monday 13 November, 7pm. The humorous show looks at Austen’s vivid account of everyday life, with extracts from her novels, gossipy letters to family members, and her wickedly funny observations about neighbours.

The show lasts one hour and is suitable for ages 12 and above.

Tickets for An Austentatious Murder and Thrills and Quills cost £6, £5 (St Helens Library Card holders), or £3 for concessions. Book online at www.culturalhubs.eventbrite.co.uk or call into any St Helens library to purchase tickets.

Cultural Hubs, the award-winning arts-in-libraries programme, is delivered by St Helens Council’s Library Service and funded by Arts Council England.