In My Mailbox! ~ The Female Spectator Vol. 16, No. 1 ~ Chawton House Library

The Female Spectator, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Winter 2012) , the newsletter of the Chawton House Library is out!
Here are the contents to whet your appetite:    

  • “Some Treasures in the Chawton House Library Collection” by Margaret S. Yoon, about her “discovery” at the CHL of two very important books for her studies. 
  • “The Suit for a Case; Or, A Case for a Suit” – by Eleanor Marsden – on the recently restored suit belonging to Edward Austen Knight, and the need for a conservation-grade display case.  [Lovely to see that JASNA member Sue Forgue of the JASNA-Greater Chicago Region, and author of the website Regency Encyclopedia , has already made a generous donation to the cause!] – if your are interested in helping, please email the Development Director at
  •  “The Sheridan Trial” – by Helen Cole – an account of the 1787  Trial of Mrs. Lydia Sheridan, wife of Major Henry Sheridan, for adultery with Francis Newman, Esq., and the inclusion of an engraving in the CHL copy that does not seem to fit the tale…
  •  “A Conference of Our Own: On the 20th Anniversary of the BWWA” – by Pamela Corpron Parker – on the upcoming conference of the British Women Writers Association, June 7-10, 2012 at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  See here for more details:
  •  “Second Impressions by Ava Farmer: A History of a Novel” – by Sandy Lerner – on the writing and publication of her recently published Second Impressions, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and 26 years in the making…[see more at the Chawton House Press website
  • “‘Poetry of Taste and Refinements’: Consumer Literature in Nineteenth-Century Annuals” – by Serena Baiesi – on the fashionable gift-books with their collection of engravings and literary pieces, published between 1822 and 1850. 
  • And, “The Chawton Chronicles” – the letter from the CEO Stephen Lawrence [with the very exciting news that Dr. Gillian Dow will be taking on a broader role at CHL as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Research!]; this issue’s “Faces of Chawton” column on Ray Clarke, the Maintenance Technician at CHL and his appreciation of CHL for his own and future generations; and the always-depresses-me because-I-live-over-here-and-not-over-there “Dates for your Diary” feature of upcoming lectures, tours, and conferences [you can look here on the website for upcoming events: ]

You can visit the Chawton House Library here  and their blog here

If you are interested in membership, you can look here if you are in the US [North American Friends of the Chawton House Library] and here is you are in the UK [Friends of Chawton House Library.

Pickering & Chatto header

Note that Pickering & Chatto is re-publishing a number of the rare books housed in the Chawton House Library collection in new scholarly editions.  This Chawton House Library Series is organized into three areas: Women’s Memoirs, Women’s Travel Writings, and Women’s Novels.  How lovely it would be to buy at least ALL the 10 novels for $675  / £395 ! 

Copyright @2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

All I Want for Christmas ~ Anything Jane Austen !

Don’t forget to comment on the Jane Austen Birthday Soiree post below to be eligible to win the JASNA-Wisconsin 2012 Jane Austen Calendar!


For the next seven days I will post a daily want of Austen-related items that I think everyone should ask for this Christmas – [some of these things I already have, some I really want, so I hope my family or Santa is paying close attention…] – great ideas for the Austen-lover in your life and / or add these to your own want-list and I promise you will not be disappointed on Christmas morning!

DAY I: 19 December 2011

Chawton House -Wikipedia

A Membership in
North American Friends of Chawton House Library 

A terrific cause supporting early women writers, housed at the home of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight…

You also receive their lovely newsletter 4 times a year: The Female Spectator – herewith the latest to grace my mailbox:  Volume 15, No. 4, received this past week: 

Starting with the “Chawton Chronicles” the column from Stephen Lawrence, CEO, is always a great summary of happenings in JA’s world both in and out of the CHL doors: this issue Steve recounts his attendance at JASNA’s AGM in Fort Worth. 

Other essays:

1.  The Diverse Women of Chawton House Library” – by Gillian Dow 

On the portrait of Mary Robinson which CHL has loaned to the National Portrait Gallery’s for the exhibition The First Actresses: Nell Gwynn to Sarah Siddons, along with Robinson’s 1801 Memoirs

Mary Robinsion as Perdita - John Hoppner

[Image from The Guardian UK – image copyright CHL; exhibit runs through January 12, 2012]

Dow also references the several lectures offered at CHL, with links to the podcasts of two of them [scroll down for the links]: Dr. Mark Towsey on Elizabeth Rose of Kilravock; and Dr. Debbie Welham on the life of Penelope Aubin.    

2.  “The Contradictory Rhetoric of Needlework in Jane Austen’s Letters and Novels,” by Ellen Kennedy Johnson, author of the dissertation [and forthcoming book? ] Alterations: Gender and Needlework in Late Georgian Arts and Letters.  [available now in dissertation format – you can add this to my want-list]

3. “Fiction in The Hampshire Chronicle, 1772-1829,” by Ruth Facer, author of the lately published Mary Bacon’s World: A Farmer’s Wife in Eighteenth-Century Hampshire.

[you can purchase this book at the CHL online shop here:  [I would like this also!]

You can read more about the The Hampshire Chronicle here.

4. “Edward Austen’s Suit” – by Sarah Parry, tells of the portrait recently returned to CHL, and the suit as worn by Edward now on display [though not the same suit as in the portrait] 

Edward Austen Knight portrait, with Steve Lawrence, Sandy Lerner,
and Richard Knight [image: JAS Society]

5. “Jane Austen and Chawton House Library: A New Patron’s View” by Deirdre Le Faye. Ms. Le Faye shares her thoughts on new areas of study in Austen’s world.  She wrote of this also here in the Spring 2010 Persuasions On-Line and well-worth the read:

6. “Literary and Literal Landscapes” by Eleanor Marsden, wherein you are reminded to help CHL in whatever way you can…

 7.  “North Meets South: Women’s Travel Narratives at Chawton House Library” by Isabelle Baudino, a Visiting Fellow at CHL in 2010, on her use of the CHLibrary for her research on women travel writers, such as Anne Plumptre.

Anne Plumptre (LibraryThing)

8. The quarterly column “Faces of Chawton” is in this issue about Ray Moseley, the Information Officer, and the man behind the various PR postings, the facebook and twitter pages, membership databases, and the CHL shop! – a feast of a job!

The Calendar of upcoming events is the only column that leaves me in quite a melancholic mood: so much going on with lectures, balls and gatherings, I am sick at being so far away… 

You can visit Chawton House Library on the web here:

You can shop here:

You can subscribe in the UK here [£30.+]:

And in the US here [$50. and up]: 

Treat yourself [you desesrve it] or a friend and help out CHL at the same time!

Austen - Grandison MS - CHL

Copyright @2011 Jane Austen in Vermont