February 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Strange Inheritance: Jane Austen's Ring

Readers may recall the 2012-2013 brouhaha over Jane Austen's gold and turquoise ring. In short: a ring once owned by Jane Austen was offered at auction. American singer Kelly Clarkson won it for £152,450 ($236,557) but was disallowed from bringing it home to the states after the UK's culture minister, Ed Vaizey, issued a temporary ban on its export. The Jane Austen House Museum then raised funds to match Clarkson's bid, thereby safeguarding it for the nation. A happy ending (well, except for Clarkson).

On Monday night, FOX Business Network's Strange Inheritance, a "primetime series which explores unusual stories of inheritance," revisits this saga. Host Jamie Colby travels to Oxfordshire to meet Nicky Gottelier, the fifth generation descendant of Jane Austen who inherited the ring. If this sounds like your cup of tea, tune in. The show airs this Monday, the 27th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
SI320_PRODSTILL_JAMIE MARY1 copy.jpgAbove: Jamie Colby at the Jane Austen's House Museum looking at the ring. Courtesy of FOX.

                                                                                                                                              Several clips of recent Strange Inheritance episodes are online, featuring all manner of ancestral artifacts, from George Washington's wallet to a one-of-a-kind penny. Of particular interest is an episode about a man whose father and aunt obsessively collected 80,000 Hollywood autographs, and one about a trove of historical documents owned by a murdered forebear from New York's Gilded Age.