Afternoon Tea with Jane Austen

This year's Lower Crumbly Arts Festival promises to be the best yet. The festival has only been going for three years and yet it has already proven to be extremely popular, both with locals and the many visitors who flock to the sleepy Sussex village in Hampshire. The week-long programme of activities includes workshops on jam butty making, a demonstration of the traditional art of 'shouting' from the deputy mayor and an exhibition of potato prints by Smelly Jim, who is usually to be found hanging round the bins behind the newsagent's.

This year organisers have added a literary element to the festival, with talks by a number of local writers, a performance of Macbeth and a fascinating lecture on the early life of Dan Brown. Sadly, however, the planned 'Afternoon Tea with Jane Austen' had to be cancelled. The event was intended to be an informal celebration of Austen's work, including readings from some of her more popular novels and a question and answer session, but has now been called off after organisers learnt that the nineteenth century author of such classics as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice is dead.

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