This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
This house, the very one that featured as Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice, is for sale. That's the mini series of Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth and the famous pond-diving scene, the one we can all spare 6 hours for whatever our obligations. The one we never want to end.
This campaign is to raise the funds to buy the house so all the fans can actually come to Longbourn.
Pride and Prejudice House will welcome its guests into the world of Jane Austen, just as we all have dreamed. Everything at Longbourn will be just as it was in Pride and Prejudice. Staff will be in costume, even in character. The house will be decorated just as it was in the show. It will really be just like Austenland. The house will be open to the public, so everyone who has ever longed to step into another world will be able to. You can eat at the dining table, sleep on the beds, live like Lizzie Bennet.
What do I get for making Longbourn real?
"There will be balls and parties every night!"
Backers will get to visit Longbourn in different ways, depending on the amount of their pledge.
At the lowest end of the donation level, backers will visit Longbourn through their online avatar. They will receive a profile frame of Longbourn, and be added to a secret online group that will get to watch the house return to its on-screen glory, and enjoy the dream from afar.
A Literary Tour
For $20, you will receive a Literature Package that will transport you to Austen's England in your mind and heart. This includes two eBooks and an AudioBook, of Regency fiction authored by Melanie Kerr, founder of Regency Encounters. The first title, which will be provided in eBook form, is Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice, which takes readers into the story behind Pride and Prejudice, to the early days of Darcy and Wickham and the near ruin of Miss Georgiana. The second title, Mary Green, which will be provided in eBook and AudioBook, is an original story, set in Regency England, and in keeping with the themes and the style of Jane Austen's work.
Welcome to Longbourn!
For those who wish to visit Longbourn in person, there are so many ways to fulfil that dream!
Come on a weekday afternoon for afternoon tea, with a tour of the house and grounds. Take plenty of selfies and try not to faint.
Come on a weekend and all guests will be in costume, so there will be nothing to undeceive you of the notion that you have really traveled through a secret door and into a fantastical reality. And yes, we will rent costumes on site. Take home a professional photograph of you at Longbourn, in your finery, as proof, whenever you need it, that dreams really do come true.
A Ball at Longbourn
Come in the evening for a Regency costume ball, including dinner, music, dancing and games. We plan to convert the stable block into our own Assembly Rooms for some capital dancing and hopefully some witty repartee. We feel certain you will never want to leave Longbourn, now you are come, and if you so choose, you do not have to! You can stay overnight in one of the rooms of the house and keep the dream alive at least until morning. And if you stay awake all night, pinching yourself, we shall not blame you.
Jane Austen Festival
Every September, there is a Jane Austen Festival in Bath which is but half an hour from Longbourn. There are balls, shows, lectures, and much more during the 10 days of the festival, and you can enjoy either weekend of the festival while staying at Longbourn. We will provide breakfast each morning and a shuttle going to and from the festival each day.
Call Longbourn Home
And for the ultimate Jane Austen experience, you can rent the entire house for one or two nights, and live as though you really were a Bennett, and this was your family home. After all, there is nothing like staying home for real comfort. You will have staff, just as a gentleman's daughter ought, and you are free to use the house and the grounds with up to 18 overnight guests. Catering, photography and costume services can all be provided by arrangement.
Jane Austen Wedding
Yes, you can get married at Longbourn. There is a church next door, connected to Longbourn by a gate in a hedge, which leads directly into the churchyard. It is a medieval stone church, and eminently suitable for a Jane Austen style wedding. Say your vows, and then simply stroll right into your reception, with food and photography provided by us. We can even provide period clothes for your wedding party by arrangement.
But I don't know if I can make it to Longbourn?
The only way you will ever make it to Longbourn is if this campaign succeeds. So long as Pride and Prejudice House is in operation, you can use your rewards. So you can hold on to them, bide your time, and wait for more favourable times, as Darcy waited for Lizzy's good opinion. And if you cannot get there in the end, all rewards are completely transferable. What could be a better gift for someone special than a journey into their most beloved story?
"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
Why would I trust this Canadian company to bring Longbourn to life?
Regency Encounters is renowned for their ambitious undertakings and the epic nature of their events. We are the company behind the Pride & Prejudice Ball, which began with a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, and now draws crowds of hundreds in multiple cities. We create fantastical experiences for our guests, and have always had Jane Austen at the heart of our passion. Founder of Regency Encounters, Melanie Kerr, published her first novel in 2013, 200 years after the release of Pride and Prejudice. She has since published a second book and is now working on her third, all in the era and style of Jane Austen.
We are also responsible for DnD in a Castle, which takes place over 4 days in a genuine castle in France, and features some of the biggest names in RPG, such as the queen of DnD herself, Satine Phoenix, and lead rules designer of DnD, Jeremy Crawford. This event sold out very quickly in its inaugural year, and plans are only getting bigger for future years.
Regency Encounters also created the Festival of Witchcraft and Wizardry, attended by over ten thousand people in its first year. All coordinated and overseen by Kerr, the festival involved a Magical Express train, Potions and Divination Classes, a game of Quidditch, a photo booth of the Headmaster's Office, two film screenings, Dragon Alley - a market of over 30 vendor stalls, and Hogshead Village - including locally made Buttery Beer and Pumpkin Juice as well as live entertainment and another market.
Melanie Kerr, has been dreaming of Longbourn since first she saw Colin Firth in a top hat and breeches, and has been building towards the dream of making it real since she started her first Jane Austen book club in 2006.
We hope to see you at Longbourn soon!
Risks and challenges
Luckily, the house itself is in great condition. The only work it needs is cosmetic, to make it look as it did in Pride & Prejudice.
We will be incorporating in Britain, and using the equity in the house to finance its operations in the beginning. We have the key staff members in place, being the housekeeper, caretaker, manager and lead costumier. With these key people in place, we will be able to launch very soon after taking possession of the house.
Once the house opens, we will be running events almost every day, which will be an immense amount of work, but we cannot wait to dive in and make this crazy dream a reality.