AN INTERNATIONAL literacy foundation set up in Jane Austen’s name has been launched in Oxford by one of the author’s descendants.

The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation was officially launched at the Holywell Music Room as part of the World Literacy Summit.

Caroline Jane Knight, the Pride and Prejudice author’s fifth great-niece, who lives in Australia, was at yesterday’s event.

The 43-year-old said: “She has been absolutely propelled to stardom and I am intent on channelling all the passion out there for her to make a difference to literacy around the world.

"So if you have been inspired by Jane Austen, then donate to the foundation in her honour.”

Ms Knight was the last of the Austen family to be born and raised at the ancestral home in Chawton, Hampshire.