The 17th century house where Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice is in danger of falling into ruin, and a public appeal has been launched to save it. The house’s caretaker, museum director Lizzie Dunford, is feeling “like (Pride and Prejudice character) Mrs. Bennet” as she seeks to crowdsource funds to repair the roof, whose tiles have been falling off and exposing Austen historical artifacts to potential weather damage. She is now calling on the public to sponsor one of the roof’s 30,000 tiles in hopes of collecting at least £250,000 in repair funds.
“Money and the security of a permanent home is so important in all Jane Austen’s novels, and it is incredibly relevant to us this year,” Dunford told The Sunday Telegraph. “When you have a collection of this quality for English literature, it's extraordinary. It's where she wrote and revised all these novels. It’s such an important building and such an important collection.” Items at risk include Austen’s writing desk, furniture, clothing, and first editions of many of her works.