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Mount Dora prepares to celebrate the life and legacy of author Jane Austen

The event begins Feb. 7

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – For the first time in Central Florida, the Jane Austen Fest arrives in Mount Dora for a three day activity-filled event.

“It’s going to be a different kind of festival that people are generally used to in Mount Dora,” Margaret Anderson said.

Anderson, a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, is honoring the author by organizing the event in the quaint central Florida city known for its history and festivals.

"This is a cultural, educational, historic kind of festival and we will be bringing in speakers," Anderson said. "There's a Bonnet making class for example, all of the workshops are geared toward the Regency era."

Austen who died more than 200 years ago has millions of followers. Born in England 1775, Austen was known for her social commentary in novels like Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

“I really think that she’s a really clear role model for women today,” Anderson said. “She wrote about women and she could’ve been writing about women today-- many of them are very strong-willed women, some of them had careers, Jane Austen, herself had a career, she was a working woman which is amazing for a woman in that era.”

Anderson became fascinated with Austen’s literary classics in high school after she read “Pride and Prejudice.”

“I was so enthralled that I went on to read “Sense and Sensibility” and “Mansfield Park”, “Persuasion” and all of the other books,” Anderson said.

But the event will not just focus on Austen's life and legacy, attendees will also be able to register for traditional meals from that era and participate in a game of lawn bowling.

"It began in England in South Hampton approximately 500 years ago and it was considered an acceptable sport for women because they could do it in their long dresses," Amy DeWolfe said.

DeWolfe will be one of the more than 200 people attending.

For others like Susan Mulholland, it's a chance to give the community of Mount Dora something unique.

"It's bringing something to Mount Dora that is unlike anything else. It gives a northern feel in a southern town, it's going to be very special," Mulholland said.

During the three day event, there will be different activities and workshops offered.

Organizers of the event encourage those interested to register online. To register click or tap here.


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