Category Archives: News

Evening Talk, Thursday 15th May 2014

‘ “He is a rogue of course, but a civil one”: John Murray, Byron and Jane Austen’. 

Dr Christine Kenyon Jones (King’s College London)

This lecture will compare and contrast the relationships of Lord Byron and Jane Austen with their publisher John Murray.

Dr. Kenyon Jones will discuss how Murray deployed his charm with these two very different authors, while in both cases being rather less than open in his financial dealings with them. She will explore how issues of class affected both relationships, with Byron’s rather precariously-achieved aristocracy and Austen’s hard-held gentility playing off against Murray’s status as tradesman, professional and gentleman; expert, adviser and business partner; servant, colleague and friend.

6.30 p.m. Drinks 7.00 p.m. Talk Tickets £11; Students / Friends £8.50

Book tickets online, or ring the library direct on 01420 541010

Music at Chawton House Library

A Most Beloved Melody: British and American Piano Renderings of Favourite Songs, 1790-1850

Tuesday 13th May 2014 

Vivian Montgomery, Southampton's visiting Fulbright Senior ScholarSouthampton’s visiting Fulbright Senior Scholar, Dr. Vivian Montgomery, will offer a lively and eye-opening recital of long-hummed tunes reclaimed for piano as variations, dance arrangements, and show pieces. The works, based on popular and evocative songs, will be performed on the historic Stodart piano at Chawton House Library, and accompanied by illuminating remarks.

Vivian Montgomery, an award-winning harpsichordist and fortepianist from Boston, has served for more than a decade on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, teaching early keyboards and historical performance. She has ardently explored the musical lives of women from 1500 to 1900, especially through two decades of cross-disciplinary work with her ensemble, Cecilia’s Circle.

Her recordings of solo, ensemble, and vocal music can be found on the Centaur, Schubert Club, Oasis, and Innova labels.

The evening starts at 6.30 p.m. with drinks and canapés in the Old Kitchen of Chawton House Library with the recital beginning at 7.00 p.m

Tickets £15; Students / Friends £12.50

To book on line go to:

Evening Talk – Ann Yearsley, ‘The Bristol Milkwoman’

Evening Talk, Thursday 3rd April 2014

“Editing Ann Yearsley, ‘The Bristol Milkwoman’ (1753-1806)”

Dr. Kerri Andrews, University of Strathclyde

Ann Yearsley by Joseph GrozerAnn Yearsley, ‘The Bristol Milkwoman’, shot to fame in 1785 when her first volume of poetry, Poems on Several Occasions, was published with the help of Hannah More, renowned playwright, educationalist, and friend to the great and good of the late eighteenth century. Through More’s patronage, Yearsley’s poetry attracted more than 1,000 subscribers, including the prime minister, William Pitt, and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. If this debut brought
Yearsley fame and fortune, the public falling-out with her patron which followed almost immediately after brought notoriety and infamy which would dog her not only for the rest of her career but for the next two hundred years, during which her works would be dismissed and her character traduced.

In this lecture, Dr. Andrews will discuss a range of newly-discovered materials, including the only letter known to exist between Yearsley and More. The talk will explore some of the consequences of editing Yearsley’s works – in terms both of More’s real and alleged interference with Yearsley’s work in the 1780s, and the presentation of Yearsley’s writing for a modern audience.

More information on booking for this event on our Events pages

Last opportunity to subscribe – the Knight Family Cookbook

Your final invitation to become a subscriber to Chawton House Library’s Knight Family Cookbook.

Jane Austen supported one of her favourite novelist’s works by subscription. Why not take the opportunity to follow this venerable literary tradition yourself, or choose it as a unique and memorable gift for a friend or relative by subscribing to the publication by Chawton House Library of the Knight Family Cookbook?

To subscribe, download the pdf of the invitation.

Sophia Waugh is ‘Cooking People’ at Chawton House Library

March 22nd – Talk, cookery demonstration and book signing. More details here.

Mansfield Park at Chawton House

A Bicentenary Symposium at Chawton House Library, March 8 2014


Deidre Lynch; Mary Ann O’Farrell; Katherine Halsey; Anthony Mandal


Gillian Dow, University of Southampton, introduces four internationally-renowned speakers to mark the bicentenary of Austen’s Mansfield Park with a symposium at Chawton House Library in the Hampshire countryside where the novel was written.

Delegate rate, includes refreshments and lunch. £40

Concessionary rate (students / unwaged), includes refreshments and lunch. £33

Symposium programme is available to download here

Symposium poster is available to download here

To register, please click here

Heritage Open Day – Thank you!

Our Heritage Open Day on Saturday 14th September attracted over 1,100 visitors to the House, Gardens and Horses. It was a fantastic day and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to come and visit us.

We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Book launch and talk – 16th October

Wednesday 16th October 2013

Book Launch and talk


Daniel Cook (University of Dundee), author of Thomas Chatterton and Neglected Genius, 1760 – 1830 (Palgrave, 2013)

Thomas Chatterton haunted generations of poets and artists long after his untimely death in 1770 at the age of seventeen. Coleridge, Southey, Robinson, and countless others dedicated elegies, odes and monodies to his memory. Keats, by his own claim, favoured the boy-poet’s quirky neo-medieval idiom over Milton’s Latinate style.

Rossetti, Browning and Wilde, among others, rediscovered him anew in the second half of the century. Wordsworth, though, did more than any other poet to shape the reception of Chatterton, whom he famously, perhaps even infamously, dubbed ‘the marvellous Boy / The sleepless soul that perished in its pride’. But what did Wordsworth glean from the youngster’s works?

Ticket £10; £7.50 Students and Friends of Chawton House Library

6.30 p.m. Drinks, 7.00 p.m Talk

Book your tickets here.

Talk on William Beckford – 4th December

Wednesday 4th December 2013

William Beckford 

Speaker:  Amy Frost of the Beckford Tower Trust, 

William Beckford is perhaps best known as one of England’s most celebrated collectors, who created architectural wonders and filled them with exquisite objects, art, furniture and above all books.  As an author, it is the oriental Gothic Novel Vathek that Beckford is remembered for, yet he also anonymously published works that were burlesque commentaries on modern novel writing.

This lecture will explore Beckford as a writer and collector, revealing his relationship with his half-sister Elizabeth Hervey, a novelist whose books can be found in the Chawton House Library and who Beckford satirised in his own work.

Ticket £10; £7.50 Students and Friends of Chawton House Library

6.30 p.m. Drinks, 7.00 p.m. Talk.

Purchase your ticket here.

Pride & Prejudices: Women’s Writing of the Long Eighteenth Century Conference 4 – 6 July 2013

Pride & Prejudices: Women’s Writing of the Long Eighteenth Century 4th – 6th July 2013.

The conference is now fully booked

In July 2013, Chawton House Library will celebrate the anniversary of its opening. With the University of Southampton, and the University of Kent, this celebratory conference will reflect on all aspects of the writing of women of the long eighteenth century, particularly the achievements of the last decade since the opening conference in 2003, as well as papers that map new directions, and reflect upon the work still to be done in the writing of women’s literary history.

Conference programme is available here.

Transport timetable is available here.

Winchester City map is available here.