MORE than 120 readers from Newton Abbot College have lost themselves in a good book – Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Their wanderings have taken them to the great scribbler’s home at Chawton, in the depths of Hampshire, to find out more about the classic early 19th century work and the woman who produced it.

They absorbed the special make-believe world of Mr Darcy and the Bennett sisters by rooting around the real creation which is Chawton House Library and Jane Austen’s House Museum.

The venture, to stimulate further interest in their GCSE literary studies, even roped in some authentic Regency period dancing in full costume.

The visit also included scrutinizing texts of the time with some of the writings alluded to in the author’s oft-filmed 1813 masterpiece.

At Jane Austen’s House Museum students handled artefacts from the period, toured the house and watched an insightful video about the life of the writer, showing them what life was like in her day.

Trip organiser and English teacher Hannah Le Couilliard said: ‘We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Chawton House Library and to Jane Austen’s House Museum.

‘Our aim was to ensure that students would understand the context of the novel and would be able to appreciate what life was like in the period in which Pride and Prejudice was written and set.’

She added: ‘After our visit we can resolutely say that we achieved this aim.

‘We were very grateful for all the effort put in by the experts at both the library and the museum as they had clearly tailored the trip to meet our requirements.

‘The trip proved to be incredibly worthwhile and we hope to repeat it with our next year 10 cohort.’

Year 10 student Joshua Hood said: ‘I appreciated learning about the historical artefacts on display throughout the house and museum.

‘Both venues were authentically preserved and it gave me some much needed cultural context to take my knowledge of the text to a deeper level of understanding.’