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Weekly dedicates front page to two of patch’s most famous residents

A weekly newspaper series celebrated the lives of two of its patch’s most-well-known residents with a special front page.

The Petersfield Post splashed yesterday with the commemoration of Jane Austen and Gilbert White across all four of its editions.

Next week marks the 200th anniversary of the death of author Austen, and the same date of the year, 18 July, was the birthday of naturalist and ornithologist White.

The Post also provided four pages inside this week’s paper previewing a series of events planned to mark Austen’s anniversary, and also examined why Austen and White are so important around the world and the impact they are having on tourism and visitors to the East Hampshire area.

PEtersfield Austen

Graeme Moir, editor of the Post series, said: “Both Jane Austen and Gilbert White have had a significant impact on the literary world with their work. They are loved by large numbers of people all around the globe but they lived their lives in two small villages in East Hampshire.

“This is a big year for events to commemorate the life of Jane Austen – there are dozens of events across Hampshire in the coming weeks and as our reporter discovered when working on the copy for our coverage, the museums and events in their names on our patch are pulling in tens of thousands of visitors to our area – and people are travelling from all corners of the world to soak up the history of Austen and White.

“These are two truly significant people who have had a global impact from our part of the world. The fact that their lives were so long ago and their work first rose to fame 100 to 200 years ago means the impact they have had on people is not perhaps as instantly recognisable as it would be if they were alive today and the modern communication technology of the internet was reporting on their achievements.

“We decided that to dedicate our front page to them on the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death and the annual birthday date for White, would be a fitting tribute to their achievements and the fact that they were residents of East Hampshire.”