A Jane Austen museum said yesterday that it has raised enough money to buy the writer's ring back from pop singer Kelly Clarkson. Earlier this year, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring Clarkson bought at auction in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain. Jane Austen's House Museum in southern England said it had raised $252,436—enough to do so. The funds were raised in just over a month, and included a $160,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor.
The Pride and Prejudice author died at age 41 in 1817, and left the ring to her sister, Cassandra. It had been in the family until the auction last year. The British government has the power to temporarily halt the export of works judged to be national treasures. Clarkson—an Austen fan who owns a first edition of the author's novel Persuasion—has agreed to sell the ring to the museum. "The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen's House Museum," she said. (Read more Kelly Clarkson stories.)