One of our most popular posts of this past year was Would You Wear Jane Austen's Ring? The gold ring, left, is one of the few possessions that were undeniably Jane's, with the special magic such a connection brings. This summer the ring sold at auction for £152,450, or about $236,000. At the time, the identity of the buyer was unknown, with much speculation as to whether the ring had been bought by a museum or a private collector.
At last the buyer's name is public, and I doubt anyone would have guessed it: chart-topping singer and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Turns out Kelly is not only a Jane Austen fan - she also owns a first edition of Persuasion – but a self-proclaimed "really big history nerd." Kelly, welcome to the club.
But whether Kelly will ever be able to take her prize back home to Texas remains up in the air. She still has not been granted an export request; because the ring has been declared a British national treasure, she is not permitted to take it from the U.K. Will Kelly be taking the ring home with her at the end of her British tour? Stay tuned...the saga of Jane Austen's ring continues!
Above: A gold and gem ring, once belonging to Jane Austen. Photograph: Sotheby's.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.