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UK lawmaker calls Austen among 'greatest living authors'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/20/2017
People in period costume display the new £10 note featuring Jane Austen, which marks the 200th anniversary of Austen's death, during the unveiling at Winchester Cathedral, England, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. At the unveiling Tuesday of the new ‘tenner’ at Winchester Cathedral in southern England, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the new note celebrates the “universal appeal” of Austen’s work. (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA via AP) © The Associated Press People in period costume display the new £10 note featuring Jane Austen, which marks the 200th anniversary of Austen's death, during the unveiling at Winchester Cathedral, England, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. At the unveiling Tuesday of the new ‘tenner’ at Winchester Cathedral in southern England, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the new note celebrates the “universal appeal” of Austen’s work. (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — A British legislator has told Parliament that Jane Austen — who died two centuries ago — was one of Britain's greatest living authors.

Andrea Leadsom quickly corrected herself Thursday after her comment provoked unwanted laughter in the House of Commons.

Leadsom's comment in Parliament came days after the 200th anniversary of the Austen's death, when Britain unveiled a new 10-pound ($13) note, featuring the "Pride and Prejudice" author.

U.K. bookseller Waterstones tweeted in jest that it was moving Austen's volumes into its "living authors" section.

Leadsom was a contender for the Conservative Party leadership in last year's contest.

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