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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Many happy returns

The return of spring brings many pleasures. Flowers! Baby birds! And, of course, a new Jane Austen bobblehead!

Back in 2020, the North American Friends of Chawton House, which raises money for the Austen-linked research-library-cum-tourist-attraction in Hampshire, England, created a nifty limited-edition premium: “Celebrity Jane,” a bobblehead doll of Jane Austen as rock chick, complete with guitar and bared midriff. The offer was so successful that NAFCH did it again the following year, this time producing “Creative Jane,” who came with a paintbrush, a palette, and a red beret.

No point stopping when you’re on a roll: The newest Chawton House bobblehead, unveiled earlier this month, is “Capability Jane,” dressed in overalls and equipped with a watering can and trowel, in the spirit of the famed Georgian garden designer Lancelot “Capability” Brown. She’s even sporting a bonnet based on one that Kate Winslet’s Marianne Dashwood wore in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

Once again, the bobblehead is available – at least until supplies run out -- to anyone who donates at least $250 to Chawton House. But if you’re too late this time, don’t forget that the coming of spring is never more than a year away.

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