Information on Sessions
Aphra Behn’s The Rover and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Visits based on these authors and titles are planned as bespoke sessions.
Examples of past visits include sessions that ran for a couple of hours to a year-long programme of work that began with the Education Officer visiting the school to give an introductory talk and which will finish with the students using the Library for research purposes in connection with coursework. For guidance, a typical visit lasting two hours will include the following:
- Welcome and introduction to Chawton House Library.
- House tour focusing on the portrait collection to draw out context to the period in which Behn and Shelley were living and working.
- Visit to one of the Library reading rooms. In advance of the visit the Education Officer will work with teachers to ensure that suitable material is on display. There will be a short talk in the Reading Room about the library and the material displayed before pupils are given an opportunity to look more closely at the material and to ask questi ons.
- After the formal part of the visit all groups are very welcome to visit the gardens for self-guided tours before departing.
Jane Austen themed school visits
Austen themed school visits for pupils up to sixth form level are offered in partnership with the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton. Mondays are designated days for school visits at GCSE and sixth form level but if you are unable to visit on a Monday please let us know as it may be possible to arrange a visit on another day.
Please note: the Jane Austen themed school visits are very popular and we advise teachers to book as early as possible if a specific date is required.
School Visits to the Chawton House Library Estate
University student visits and other educational groups
We regularly welcome student groups from Universities and colleges from throughout the UK and, increasingly, from around the world for house tours and an introduction to the Library. The programme for such visits is as follows and runs for two hours:
- Welcome and introduction to Chawton House Library
- House tour focusing on one of the following themes: Chawton House in the time of Edward Austen (later Knight) or the Chawton House Library portrait collection. The portraits are mainly of women from the period our Library collections cover which is 1600 to approximately 1830.
- Visit to one of the Library Reading Rooms. Suitable material will be on display and the Education Officer will work with each tutor to ensure that what is displayed is relevant to the students’ work.
- An opportunity to visit the gardens for a self-guided tour.
Tutors may wish to be aware that St Nicholas’ Church in Chawton is close to Chawton House Library and that they might wish to allocate time to visit. Although not part of the Chawton House Estate the church is generally open during daylight hours and contains a number of memorials to the Knight and Austen families. Jane Austen’s mother and sister are buried in the churchyard.
It may not always be possible for groups to visit Chawton House Library but a visit by a member of Chawton House Library staff would be of interest. Please contact the Education Officer to discuss arranging a talk to your school, university, group or society. Talks are tailored to reflect the interests of individual groups and can be booked for day time or evening sessions.