4th & 5th September reducedMr Bennet (Benjamin Whitrow), Mr Bingley (Crispin Bonham-Carter), Jane Bennet (Susannah Harker), Kitty Bennet (Polly Maberly), Mr Collins (David Bamber), Mrs Gardiner (Joanna David), plus Director Simon Langton and Choreographer Jane Gibson, will join us on 5 September to celebrate 20 years since this landmark in television history.

 

 

The critically acclaimed six-part TV drama, adapted by Andrew Davies and produced by Sue Birtwistle, elevated Colin Firth, who at that time was a relatively unknown British actor, to international stardom.

darcy wet shirtDuring the conference cast and crew will reveal secrets from the set of a series that gripped the nation when it aired in September 1995. They will discuss how one of the most unforgettable moments in television history – Mr Darcy’s iconic wet shirt scene – came about.

Simon Langton, Director of the BBC production, said of the celebration at Chawton House Library: ‘I look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Andrew Davies version of Pride and Prejudice that has done much to prolong the genius of Jane Austen, not only for the last twenty years but for generations to come.’

He added: ‘A beautiful research centre into early women’s writing, set in the house that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, will provide the perfect environment to bring cast and crew back together to reminisce on the production’.

A host of academic experts on Jane Austen and the many adaptations of her work will reflect on the place of Pride and Prejudice in popular culture before and after 1995. The author of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism, Professor Devoney Looser from Arizona State University, will give a talk titled: ‘Playing Mr Darcy, from Archery to Wet Shirts’.

P&P display reducedHere at the Library there will also be a display relating to Pride and Prejudice and other treasured works by Jane Austen. This large display will include books, photographs from the set and ephemera relating to the production. Many of these items are being contributed by Huw Prall, one of our fantastic library volunteers and a dancer in the 1995 adaptation.  Huw, who is also Head of Dance for the education department at Shakespeare’s Globe, will be in the Lower Reading room on 5 September to talk about the display and what went on behind the scenes of the 1995 production​.

 

We are now fully-booked for this conference.  If you missed out on a space, you will still have the chance to see the display, which includes photos from the set, at our Open House and Gardens on 6 September   Tickets cost £6.00 or £3.50 for adults and are available on the day. 

Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations. First launched on Sunday 8 March 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day, our monthly podcast is a round up of news, events and highlights, helping you stay connected with Chawton House Library wherever you are.

On 16 July, Professors Anne Curry and David Owen Norris from the University of Southampton gave a wonderful talk and music recital on women and the Battle of Agincourt, which took place 600 years ago, in 1415. As part of this special extended podcast we bring you the highlights: Professor Curry discusses the medieval letters and texts that give a unique insight into the plight of the widows of the battle, before telling us about the activities of the charity Agincourt600 of which she is the chair.  Then, Professor Norris treats us to some beautiful piano extracts from the evening, composed on the theme of female loss after battle, and performed on the historic Stodart piano, on loan from the University of Southampton, and housed in our dining room.

Austen scholar Professor Janine Barchas (University of Texas at Austin) and theatre historian Professor Kristina Straub (Carnegie Mellon University) tell us about an exhibition, to be held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC in 2016, which explores the celebrity of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare.  On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the exhibition will look at the process of how these authors became literary superheroes. Professor Barchas has recently agreed to join the North American Friends of Chawton House Library board, and we look forward to working closely with her in the future.

Finally, we hear from three recent visiting fellows at Chawton House Library, all graduate students. Katie Charles (University of California Los Angeles), Courtney Hoffman (University of Georgia) and Jessica Roberson (University of California, Riverside) talk about the immersive experience of researching the collection here at Chawton House Library.

 

Look as you listen!

Here are some of the things you will hear described in this month’s Chawton House Library Conversations podcast:

Professor Anne Curry

Professor Anne Curry

Professor David Owen Norris and the talented music students from the University of Southampton who performed on 16 July.

Professor David Owen Norris and the talented music students from the University of Southampton who performed on 16 July

Janine Barchas Kristina Straub

Professors Janine Barchas and Kristina Straub

The Stables reduced

Our onsite accomodation for visiting fellows: The Stables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you missed out on any of the podcasts in our series? Catch up here

 

 

 

books reducedWe are thrilled to announce the new visiting fellowships at Chawton House Library for 2015-16.  This year we received more applications than ever before and Dr Gillian Dow, Executive Director at Chawton House Library and Chair of the selection committee, said of the selection process: “our task was tremendously difficult this year and sadly we had to reject many excellent applications.  We hope these scholars will not be discouraged from reapplying in the future. We would like to heartily congratulate those who were accepted and thank once again the literary societies and individuals who sponsored the named fellowships.”

 

Click the link to see the list of fellowships 2015-16, we wish all of the visiting fellows a wonderful and productive stay here at Chawton House Library.

Chawton House Library Fellowships 2015-16

Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations. First launched on Sunday 8th March 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day, our monthly podcast is a round up of news, events and highlights, helping you stay connected with Chawton House Library wherever you are.

July’s Podcast features an interview with couture milliner and PHD student of the fascinating language of dress at the University of Southampton, Eleanor Houghton.  Eleanor provided one of the highlights of the Jane Austen Regency Week in Alton and Chawton in June: she gave a talk here at Chawton House Library on clothing in the time of Jane Austen – which the Hampshire Regency Dancers attended in a range of costumes from the period.  Our General Manager Anthony Hughes-Onslow talks about his own role, and what makes Chawton House Library a fantastic place to visit.  In a month when we remember the final battle of the Napoleonic Wars, and commemorate Waterloo, Dr Gillian Dow, our Executive Director, discusses the treasure trove of works by French women writers held in the Library collection. Finally, we hear from June visiting fellow and Professor of French at the University of New Hampshire, Nadine Berenguier, about the unique French texts and translations she came to the Library to research.  We look forward to another commemoration of a historic battle between the French and the English on the 16 July when Professors Anne Curry and David Owen Norris from the University of Southampton will give a talk and music recital on women and the Battle of Agincourt.

 

 

Look as you listen

Here are some of the things you will hear described in this month’s Chawton House Library Conversations podcast:

Eleanor Houghton at talk

Eleanor Houghton when she gave her talk here at Chawton House Library on clothing in the time of Jane Austen.

hats by EH

A few of the hats and bonnets made by couture milliner Eleanor Houghton. These and many more from Eleanor’s collection were on display during the evening of her talk

Hampshire regency dancers at EH talk

The Hampshire Regency Dancers attended the talk in a range of costumes from the period

Anthony Hughes-Onslow reduced

Our General Manager here at Chawton House Library, Anthony Hughes-Onslow

Madeleine de Scudéry 'Clelia, an Excellent New Romance' (1678).  Just one of the many translations from a French original in the Chawton House Library collection

Madeleine de Scudéry ‘Clelia, an Excellent New Romance’ (1678). Just one of the many translations from a French original in the library collection

June's visiting fellows working hard in the Reading Room

June’s visiting fellows working hard in the Reading Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you missed out on any of the podcasts in our series? Catch up here

There are still a few tickets remaining for our talk and music recital ‘Women and the Battle of Agincourt’ on 16 July.  Book tickets here or call the events office direct on 01420 595901.

We would like to say a special thank you to North American Friend of Chawton House Library, Sue Forgue, whose kind and generous sponsorship has made Chawton House Library Conversations possible.

Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations after a very special month: Dr Sandy Lerner was presented with a honourary OBE for services to UK culture, here in the Library she founded. First launched on Sunday 8th March 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day, our monthly podcast is a round up of news, events and highlights, helping you stay connected with Chawton House Library wherever you are.

June’s podcast features an interview with Professor Ruth Perry (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on how the strong voice of first English feminist, Mary Astell, became her life-long passion. Professor Michelle Levy and her PHD student Kandice Sharren (both visiting fellows in March, from Simon Fraser University in Canada) discuss their Women’s Print History Project and the unique resource provided by the Library’s collection. Pamela Birley, from the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, talks about the new visiting fellowship – funded by the organisation – that aims to promote the study of women in warfare in any historical period. Twelve years after the completion of the restoration of the house and grounds, we hear from project manager Adrian Thatcher, and finally, Development Director, Keith Arscott, talks about his role at the Library in building a strong community of support.

 

Look as you listen

Here are some of the things you will hear described in this month’s Chawton House Library Conversations podcast:

Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq at the presentaion of her OBE

Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq at the presentaion of her OBE

Professor Ruth Perry with May’s visiting fellows

Development Director Keith Arscott with Baroness Williams and Pamela Birley from the Society of Women Writers and Journalists

Development Director, Keith Arscott with Baroness Williams and Pamela Birley from the Society of Women Writers and Journalists

house restoration

Chawton House Library during the restoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you missed out on any of the podcasts in our series? Catch up here

We would like to say a special thank you to North American Friend of Chawton House Library, Sue Forgue, whose kind and generous sponsorship has made Chawton House Library Conversations possible.

 

 

 

On Wednesday 20th May, Dr Sandy Lerner was presented with her honorary OBE for services to UK culture, here in the Library she founded.  She received special permission to hold the ceremony here and was presented with the award by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq.

Dr Linda Bree, a trustee of Chawton House Library and Editorial Director of Cambridge University Press, said, ‘I’m delighted to see this recognition of your wonderful achievement Sandy in founding Chawton House Library, and giving women writers of the past, at last, a home of their own in Britain.’

We are delighted that Sandy’s remarkably generous gift, fired by passion and commitment to widening the literary horizon has been so publicly recognised.

 

The Day in Pictures

CHL's heavy horses greeted guests as they arrived for the ceremony

CHL’s heavy horses greeted guests as they arrived for the ceremony

Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq

Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq

Dr Sandy Lerner and CHL trustee, Mr Richard Knight

Dr Sandy Lerner and CHL trustee, Mr Richard Knight

Dr Sandy Lerner with her OBE

Dr Sandy Lerner with her OBE

HM Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq congratulating Dr Sandy Lerner

HM Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq congratulating Dr Sandy Lerner

Trustees Mrs Gilly Drummond and Mr Richard Knight with Executive Director, Dr Gillian Dow, Trustees Mr Leonard Bosack, Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq

Trustees, Mrs Gilly Drummond and Mr Richard Knight with Executive Director, Dr Gillian Dow, Trustees Mr Leonard Bosack, Dr Sandy Lerner and HM Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq

The Insignia and the Warrant presented to Dr Sandy Lerner

The Insignia and the Warrant presented to Dr Sandy Lerner

Award recognises importance of our unique Library of women’s writing

 

Today at Chawton House Library a very special event took place: our founder and Chairman, Dr Sandy Lerner, was awarded an Honorary OBE.

SandyLerner330

As a foreign national, the award of an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen recognises the significance of Dr Lerner’s cultural contribution to the UK in restoring the house an estate and establishing the Library. Although such awards are usually recognised at the British Embassy in the recipient’s country of residence, when Dr Lerner was first advised of the award over a year ago, she requested permission to delay announcing the honour and wait to be presented with the award at Chawton House Library itself.

 

Hampshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, presented the award to Dr Lerner in the Dining Room where Jane Austen would have dined with her brother, Edward. Dr Lerner, like many avid readers, loves the work of Jane Austen. This led her to explore the work of her influences and contemporaries. She discovered lesser-known women writers – many hugely popular in their day – who had been forgotten by mainstream publishing and popular culture. Speaking on this, Dr Lerner has said ‘All of a sudden, Jane Austen made a whole lot more sense. It wasn’t like she’d dropped in from outer space with six of the best novels in the English language and left. You could see her in the context of things she’d read.’ This interest led to Dr Lerner building up a private library of early English women’s literature, 1600 – 1830.

 

On hearing that the Elizabethan manor house once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen, later Knight, and referred to in her letters as the ‘Great House’, was for sale in a dilapidated condition, Lerner paid £1.25 million to buy it on a long lease from Edward’s descendent, Richard Knight. A further £10 million was spent on its restoration, thereby saving it for Chawton, Hampshire and the nation – as well as for admirers of Jane Austen worldwide.

 

Chawton House Library has since become established as a world-renowned research and study centre for early English women’s writing. Lerner’s entire collection of around 8,000 books was donated to start the Library, which has grown considerably since then. A remarkably generous gift fired by passion and commitment to widening the literary horizon.

 

The Library, house and estate is open to the public and runs a varied events programme. This includes international conferences, talks on women writers in the collection and on all aspects of eighteenth-century literature and culture. There is also a visiting fellowship programme, allowing scholars to study and stay on site, which is run in partnership with the University of Southampton.

 

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford said, ‘As a Trustee of Chawton House Library, I am thrilled that the Chairman of our board has been awarded this honour in recognition of her tremendous passion and commitment to women’s writing. It is particularly pleasing as the award also reflects the importance of libraries in the intellectual life of the UK’.

Dr Linda Bree, Editorial Director of Arts and Literature at Cambridge University Press and herself a scholar of eighteenth-century women’s writing, said, ‘I’m delighted to see this recognition of Sandy Lerner’s wonderful achievement in founding Chawton House Library, and giving women writers of the past, at last, a home of their own in Britain.’

 

Chawton House Library’s collection of rare books and manuscripts need ongoing conservation work to preserve them for future generations. Find out about our Book Conservation appeal here: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=58943

Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations. First launched on Sunday 8th March 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day, our monthly podcast is a round up of news, events and highlights, helping you stay connected with Chawton House Library wherever you are.

In May’s podcast, present-day psychologist Professor David Baldwin, talks about how he used a book in the Chawton House Library collection to delve into the world of early nineteenth-century mental illness at Bedlam Hospital, Visiting Fellows from Pennsylvania, Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield, discuss their research into Jane Austen’s Emma and Dr Stephen Bending reflects on the close working relationship between Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton.

 

 

Look as you listen

Here are some of the things you will hear described in this month’s Chawton House Library Conversations podcast:

'Sketches in Bedlam' (1823) The book, written by a  'Constant Observer', that Professor Baldwin used for his research.

‘Sketches in Bedlam’ (1823) The book, written by a ‘Constant Observer’, that Professor Baldwin used for his research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting Fellows Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield hard at work in the reading room.

Visiting Fellows Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield hard at work in the reading room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

University of Southampton students at Chawton House Library.

University of Southampton students at Chawton House Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you missed out on any of the podcasts in our series? Catch up here

We would like to say a special thank you to North American Friend of Chawton House Library, Sue Forgue, whose kind and generous sponsorship has made Chawton House Library Conversations possible.

Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations. First launched on Sunday 8th March 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day, our monthly podcast is a round up of news, events and highlights, helping you stay connected with Chawton House Library wherever you are.

April’s podcast features an interview with two experts on Maria Graham (1785-1842) – the first woman to forge a whole career in travel writing. Professional book conservator, Caroline Bendix and her intern Georgia Genco tell us why working with the Chawton House Library collection has been such a unique and enjoyable experience. Dress Historian, Curator and Visiting Fellow at Chawton House Library in March, Hilary Davidson weighs the balance of truth in the Knight family legend of Edward Austen’s silk suit. Finally, one of our trustees, Richard Knight – a descendant of Edward’s – describes the beautiful grounds and gardens of the Library.

 

 

Look as you listen

Here are some of the things you will hear described in this month’s Chawton House Library Conversations podcast:

 

The portrait of Maria Graham that hangs in the Exhibition Room here at Chawton House Library.

The portrait of Maria Graham by John Jackson that hangs in the Exhibition Room here at Chawton House Library.

TGrham

The portrait of Thomas Graham by Sir Henry Raeburn, placed opposite that of his wife, Maria.

This portrait of Edward Knight (formerly Austen) hangs in the Dining Room.

The Dining Room is home to this portrait of Edward Knight (formerly Austen).

 

The walled kitchen garden built by Edward Knight.
The walled kitchen garden built by Edward Knight.  

 

Edward Austen's silk suit?

Edward Austen’s silk suit?

Book conservation intern, Georgia Genco, training a group of volunteers.

Book conservation intern Georgia Genco training a group of volunteers.

 

See it for yourself:

All of the treasures featured in our podcasts are waiting to be discovered at Chawton House Library. We are now open Tuesday to Friday, 2.00 pm until 4.30 pm until the 30th October. Find out more about planning your visit here: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=58943.

If you would like to know more about supporting our book conservation appeal, follow the link to watch a short film and read about how you can make a difference to the campaign http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=58570.

Did you miss out on Chawton House Library’s March Podcast? Catch up here

We would like to say a special thank you to North American Friend of Chawton House Library, Sue Forgue, whose kind and generous sponsorship has made Chawton House Library Conversations possible.

Simone with our sparky six year old, Royston, on the drive of the Library

Simone with our sparky six year old, Royston, on the drive of the Library

Please join us in giving Simone Marshall a warm welcome to the Chawton House Library team! Simone, who has joined us as our new Assistant Groom, will be helping Head Groom, Angie McLaren, to care for the five heavy horses kept at the Library – Summer, Speedy, Charlotte, Royston and Isaac. Simone has plenty of experience in horsemanship as her passion for horses lead her to spend the last 10 years volunteering with Suffolk Punches, another breed of heavy horse commonly used for farm work.

 

Speaking of her new post, Simone has said: “I am thrilled to be looking after these beautiful working animals with such unique personalities. I look forward to working with Angie to promote their welfare and further their training in traditional agricultural methods”.

 

Isaac getting used to his work harness

Isaac getting used to his work harness

Simone will soon have the chance to put the horses’ skills to good use as they will be using them to chain harrow fields on the estate that have become overgrown with moss. The shires enable such maintenance to be carried out in an environmentally friendly way whilst educating visitors about our agricultural heritage.

 

Simone added: “I was fascinated to learn that members of the public can get involved in the training and care of the horses through a sponsorship programme. I am really keen to encourage more people to get closer to the horses I now care for”.

 

all shires

 

Whether it’s Charlotte, our grand dame of twenty years who likes to show who is boss, or our baby, three-year-old Isaac, who is a little bit goofy, any of the horses would greatly appreciate your support for the hard work they do at Chawton House Library. Find out more about our ‘Sponsor a Shire’ appeal here.

Chawton House Library

This year Chawton House Library, home to over 10,000 volumes and manuscripts, will open its doors to the public more than ever before.

The unique collection of early women’s writing from 1630 – 1800, is housed in the grand Elizabethan manor that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward.

 

 

interpretationFrom the 24th of March through to the end of October, visitors will be able to explore the Library for themselves, Tuesday to Friday afternoons from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm. These new opening hours will enable more people to discover the inspirational women writers who played an innovative role in the development of the novel and English literature.

The grounds, complete with a walled kitchen garden, wilderness and ha-ha will also be open, Tuesday to Friday, from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm.

Anthony Hughes-Onslow, General Manager of Chawton House Library, said: “We are delighted to be transforming our opening hours to make it easier for people to come and see the extraordinary treasures in our Library collection as well as enjoy the beautiful historic house and grounds.”

 

The extended visiting hours mean that Chawton House Library is keen to welcome more volunteers to help manage the greater number of visitors.

Hughes-Onslow added: “We are on the look out for more friendly and dedicated volunteers to join our team and help us to promote early women’s writing to the widest possible audience”.

Entrance to the Library and gardens will cost £6 for adults and £3.50 for children aged between 6 and 16 years.

Plan your visit

Become a volunteer