An anonymous donor contributed £100,000 pounds to save Jane Austen’s gold and topaz ring from being shipped out of the UK…to American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Yes…Clarkson, is an Austen fan, and already owns a first edition of Persuasion. She paid more than 152,000 pounds for the ring at Sotheby’s last year. Within days of the auction, the Jane Austen’s House Museum started raising funds to keep the piece from leaving the country.
One of only three pieces of Austen’s jewellery known to exist, the ring has been subjected to a temporary export ban, imposed by the UK’s culture minister on grounds it is “so closely connected with our history and national life, its departure would be a misfortune”.
If you’ve read everything Austen…and need suggestions on other great titles, tune into this weekend’s edition of the Book Report.