A MAJOR exhibition to mark 200 years since the death of novelist Jane Austen will open next week at Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Which Jane Austen? opens on Friday at the Weston Library in Broad Street and will feature a selection of Austen materials displayed together for the first time.

Austen’s novels including Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Persuasion will be interpreted in the exhibition as wartime texts.

Also explored is Austen’s success as a professional writer, with the exhibition charting her frequent visits to London to oversee the publication process of her books and to enjoy the cultural and commercial life of the capital.

The Bodleian houses one of the world’s three most significant collections of Austen materials and the exhibition will also feature items on loan from Oxford college collections, King’s College, Cambridge, Chawton House Library, Jane Austen’s House Museum, and the British Library.

Prof Kathryn Sutherland, curator of the exhibition and world-leading Austen expert at Oxford University, said: “Contrary to popular belief, Jane Austen was no retiring country mouse. “And while it is assumed that, as an 18th century female, her context was local, Austen was always very much a writer of the world.”

For more visit bodleian.ox.ac.uk