Next week the Bank of England will issue a new £10 note bearing Austen's image, during this year of special events including walks through her native Hampshire in southern England and exhibitions about her life.
Part of Austen's appeal rests on her depiction of a romanticised England with love affairs, tea and parties in the glorious surroundings of sprawling stately homes. . . .
But Austen's novels have long been studied for their critique of a world of rigid class structure that was nevertheless in flux thanks to the Napoleonic wars.
"One of the things she is concerned with as a moral writer is social responsibility," said Professor Kathryn Sutherland of the University of Oxford, co-curator of a new exhibition in Winchester.
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