A library devoted to women's writing from 1620 to 1830 opens today at Chawton House in Hampshire - the former home of Jane Austen's brother, Edward Austen Knight.
It is the latest philanthropic project of Sandy Lerner, the American entrepreneur who, along with her husband, has given away nearly three quarters of her wealth to charity - 6,000 of the 9,000 volumes now available to the public are from Sandy Lerner's personal collection.
Our reporter Anna Egan visited the restored manor house to ask Sandy about the roots of her passion for the prose of Jane Austen and her literary sisters - to the point of reading Persuasion 70 times! Persuasion was read by Elizabeth Greyling. If you would like to read any of the novels in the Chawton House Novels Online project, you can access them online at www.chawton.org