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My goodness…another year has come and gone. Not only is this the day on which, 200 years ago, Sense and Sensibility was reputedly first published, but it is also the second anniversary of this site.

It has been fun year, I do hope you will agree. So many more of you have visited: in fact over twice as many as came here in the first year, and I’ve really loved meeting you all. The most popular posts this year have been a varied bunch. In the year of another, very different Royal Wedding, my post on Princess Charlotte’s Wedding was, and is still, popular; The Premiere of Mansfield Park:The Opera at Boughton House has attracted many many thousands of visitors, The Dress for Excess Exhibit at the Royal Pavillion series is still proving very popular, and, appropriately enough in this anniversary year, Hugh Thomson’s Illustrations for Sense and Sensibility have been among the posts that have generated most traffic.

My sincere thanks, as ever, are due to some lovely individuals who have encouraged and supported me in my endeavours this past year.. For all their kind words, I would like to extend my thanks to Katherine Cahill, Amanda Vickery, Louise West, Ronald Dunning, Karen Robarge, Jane Odiwe and Farah-Naz for all their encouragement and support. They do say that the second year of writing articles on a website is the hardest. I must admit that this year I’ve found that I have  had too much to write about, and some articles are being held over till next year in the schedule! Thank you for al your patience!

I should also like thank all of you who come and visit, and an especially warm thank you to all of you who take the trouble to comment. And now a confession. Prepare yourself to hear something very dreadful. I am appallingly bad at commenting on other websites. I mean to do it. Really, I do. Then my mind goes blank and I’m convinced others have already said what I’m proposing to say,or that what I’m going to say sounds banal. I never think this of the comments made here: obviously  you are all far more erudite than I ;) But as part of today’s celebration I’m going to encourage you to comment to this anniversary post. In two weeks time I will pick, by random number generator related to the number of your comment in the list, one of the authors of a comment to be the recipient of the following gifts:

A Sense and Sensibility celebratory calico bag from the Jane Austen’s House Museum, bought during my visit to them this week:

A set of four cards, depicting  scenes from Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice  and Sense and Sensibility designed  by the Scribes of Winchester Cathedral, where, of course, Jane Austen is buried:

A pack of cards printed with a design of a silhouette of Mr and Mrs Austen walking along the lane to church at Steventon, with all their children(save for poor George) in tow. These are only available to buy at St Nicholas’ Church, Steventon, where Jane Austen was baptised and worshipped, and where her father and brother, James, were rectors:

Because so many of you enjoyed the recent post I wrote about them and their designer, I’ve included a mint presentation pack of the 1975 Jane Austen commemorative stamps issued by the GPO:

The newly released Entertaining Miss Austen CD, which I will write about this forthcoming week:

A copy of Serena Dyer’s exquisite book on hats in Jane Austen’s era:

A set of postcards produced by the National Portrait Gallery in London on conjunction with The First Actresses Exhibition   (includes images of Mary Robinson and Sarah Siddons as well as Nell Gwynn!)

A copy of  The Pocket Posh Jane Austen Quiz Book…a small pocket- sized book of amusing Jane Austen related puzzles( A perfect stocking filler!)

A set of twenty postcard of my copies of Hugh Thomson and C.E. Brock’s illustrations for Sense and Sensibility

There are two of each image in the set plus envelopes…

They also include this image by Ackermann, again from my collection, of Pynes, the house in Devon thought to be the inspiration for Barton Park:

And finally, because it wouldn’t be an Austenonly Giveaway without one, an early 19th century bone gaming fish as used by Lydia Bennet:

I ought to stress that this Giveaway is open to everyone, wherever in the world you are. If you take the trouble to comment,wherever you are, then I think you ought to have a chance to receive these items. It is only fair. So please, do comment and then  you will be automatically entered into the draw, which will take place in two weeks time on the 13th November.(Note I will not be replying to the comments  in order to make the draw that much simpler!)

And so… on to year three!  I have some rather special Jane Austen related news, to be released around the time of the anniversary of her birthday on 16th December, and  I hope it will prove to be very interesting to you all. I do hope you will continue to visit here , as it wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t!

Don’t forget to leave a comment, and Good Luck!

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