Pride and Prejudice Day, 28 January 2021

Pride and Prejudice was first published on 28 January 1813. This year, with Christmas behind us and the nation in lockdown, our celebrations will take place online. Drop into our social channels throughout the day to celebrate #PrideandPrejudiceDay and enjoy an explosion of quotes, images, videos and text, as we encourage Jane Austen fans across the world to join in our enthusiasm for all things P&P.

To whet your appetite, here are our Top 10 Ways to celebrate Pride and Prejudice Day 2021!

1. Share your favourite line

On 28 January, we will be sharing short videos of some of our favourite scenes in Pride and Prejudice. We want you to do the same – film yourself reading out your favourite line from the novel and share it with us on social media using the hashtag #PrideandPrejudiceDay. We can’t wait to watch them all!

2. Dress appropriately

“I am very glad to hear what you tell us, of long sleeves.”

Your attire is up to you, of course, but as it’s winter we too are planning to wear long sleeves and plenty of petticoats. If you want to really get to grips with Regency fashions, we can’t do better than suggest you curl up with Hilary Davidson’s beautiful book Dress in the Age of Jane Austen or watch Hilary’s fascinating Austen Wednesdays video.

Mrs Bennet and her two youngest girls

Mrs Bennet and her two youngest strut their stuff in sensible long sleeves. Illustration by Hugh Thomson for Pride and Prejudice (George Allen, 1894).

3. Write a letter

‘How delighted Miss Darcy will be to receive such a letter’

Staying in touch with friends and family is more important than ever at the moment. On P&P day, why not write your loved one a proper letter and take it to the post box?

4. Eat soup

‘The soup was fifty times better than what we had at the Lucases’ last week’

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cold January day calls for a warming bowl of soup. For Regency recipe inspiration, we turn to Martha Lloyd’s Household Book in the Museum collection, which gives us a number of recipes, including one for ‘White Soup’ as served at the Netherfield Ball.

Recipe for White Soup in Martha Lloyd’s Household Book

5. Go for a walk

‘Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity’

A brisk walk in the fresh air always helps to lift the spirits, especially if you can find a field and squelch about in the mud. We’ll be following in Lizzie’s footsteps and going for a ramble whatever the weather. We’d love to see photos of your walks too!

6. Have a cup of tea

‘Miss Bennet was making tea, and Elizabeth pouring out the coffee’

There are many, many cups of tea drunk in Pride and Prejudice, and as far as we’re concerned there’s no better way to honour Jane Austen than by making yourself a delicious cuppa.

7. Practice an accomplishment

“It is amazing to me,” said Bingley, “how young ladies have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.”

Are you keeping yourself busy with a new hobby this year? Here at Jane Austen’s House we have been baking bread, gardening, playing the piano and hand-stitching Regency dresses (what else!). Mr Darcy would no doubt disagree with us, but as far as we’re concerned anything goes – and we’d love to hear about your modern-day accomplishments!

Lizzie’s cat ‘helps’ with pattern cutting for her hand-stitched Regency dress…

8. Read a book

‘Mr. Collins readily assented, and a book was produced; but, on beholding it (for everything announced it to be from a circulating library), he started back, and begging pardon, protested that he never read novels’

Well, we know which book we’ll be reading on P&P Day! But as far as we’re concerned, any book is a good book and we can’t wait to curl up by the fire and get stuck into a novel – and if it’s a library book, all the better!

9. Play a game

‘When the gentlemen joined them, and tea was over, the card tables were placed.’

Pride and Prejudice is full of card games. Lydia enjoys a noisy game of Lottery Tickets and Mr Collins proves himself to be typically deficient at Whist. To recreate the Regency card game experience, dig out some tokens to use as betting counters like these beautiful ‘fish’ tokens in the Museum collection.

Lottery fish

Ivory fish playing counters

10. Go dancing (in your kitchen)

‘I have been most highly gratified, my dear sir. Such very superior dancing is not often seen.’

There are balls aplenty in P&P, and we know that Jane Austen herself loved to dance. Although we are sorely missing going out and seeing friends, a solo kitchen disco at the end of the day is the very thing to lift our spirits. It’s what we like to think the Bennets would have done – can you imagine Lydia surviving lockdown any other way?!

Group of waltzers, La Belle Assemblee, 1817.

UPDATE! If you missed us on the 28th but still want to join in the fun, you can catch up with our #PrideandPrejudiceDay videos here.