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

Hot off the Presses! ~ ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine’ and ‘The Female Spectator’

Will await this showing up in my mailbox [though see the publisher’s note about weather-induced delivery delays] –  here is the latest table of contents from Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, the January/February 2011 issue No. 49: 

  • Sense & Sensibility at 200 ~  Leading writers look at the history, relevance, importance and morality of Jane Austen’s first published novel
  • What price Paradise? ~ Life as a Jewish person in Regency England
  • Wives by Advertisement ~ The risks and rewards of Georgian lonely hearts’ adverts
  • Jane Austen and Robert Burns ~ What she really thought about the Scottish poet
  • Jane Austen edited by a man ~  One writer’s angry response to recent news reports 

*The new curator at Jane Austen’s House Museum reveals what Jane means to her 

*Plus: All the latest news from the world of Jane Austen, as well as letters, book reviews, quiz, competition and news from JAS and JASNA 

Wondering what to ask Santa for Christmas?  Well if you have been “good” and “nice” and not “naughty” or “shouting” or “crying” the whole year through, then you deserve a subscription to JARW!  For further information, and to subscribe, visit:



 1.      The March/April 2011 issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine will be the FIFTIETH issue!
2.      Overseas subscribers, especially in the US and Canada: be advised that the January/February issue may be delayed by 7-10 days because of a backlog of cargo in the UK following recent bad weather, and sorting difficulties in both the US and Canadian postal services. We apologise for any delay or inconvenience this may cause. Jane Austen’s Regency World ~ well worth waiting for!


Chawton House Library has published the latest issue of its newsletter The Female Spectator, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn 2010) [and thankfully, this has arrived in my mailbox!] :   

  • Chawton Chronicles” from CEO Steve Lawrence re: Edward Austen Knight’s silk suit
  • “Brian Charles Southam”, an obituary – by Gillian Dow
  • “Reading and Re-reading in Sarah Fielding’s The Countess of Dellwyn” – by Louise Curran
  • “Aspects of Household Management during the Long Eighteenth Century: The Invalid’s Dietary” – by Catherine Morley
  • “A Birthday Banquet for Sarah Fielding” [ her 300th!]  – by Linda Bree and Peter Sabor, on the November conference at CHL on Sarah Fielding.  Link provided to a podcast of Isobel Grundy’s lecture here:
  •  The Education Programme at CHL – by Sarah Parry 
  • “Stories behind the Paintings”  by Jacqui Grainger – this essay on the portrait of Mary Robinson, actress and mistress of the Prince Regent, that hangs in the Great Hall of the Chawton House Library [with a heads-up re: the National Portrait Gallery [the UK NPG-  sorry folks!] exhibition entitled “The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons” set for 20 Oct 2011 – 8 Jan 2012] 
  • “The Shire Horses” – by Angie McLaren  
  • “House and Estate News”:  Conservation Projects – by Paul Dearn; The Park and Gardens – by Alan Bird
  • “Dates for Your Diary” – as always, lovely to see what is coming up, and, as always, quite depressed that I am on this side of the world…

You too can receive this quarterly newsletter in your mailbox [weather notwithstanding…] by becoming a member of the CHL – information is  here: Chawton House Library membership [see link for North American members].  See also the several links to full-text [pdf] past newsletters here, and a contents listing of all issues here.

And please check out the latest news on the CHL website – there is a new short story competition in the offing – so start mending your pens and submit your creation by March 31, 2011 – guidelines are here.

Happy reading and writing all!

All Things Austen ~ a Web Round-up!

I have been out-of-town, visiting the Big Apple and the Austen exhibit at the Morgan Library – this was fabulous! –  I will report on it in a later post, but for now, there is much to make note of in the ever-busy world of Jane Austen, so will summarize as best I can – you will see that we all have our reading cut out for us!

JASNA has published its new edition of Persuasions On-Line  [Volume 30, No. 1 Winter 2009] – and note that JASNA-Vermont’s own Kelly McDonald has a published article – see this highlighted below!

 Table of Contents: from the 2009 AGM on Jane Austen’s Brothers and Sisters 


 And remember to renew your JASNA membership if you have not already done so.  JASNA is now accepting membership registrations and donations via PayPal, so this is a fine time to give a gift membership to any of your Austen-loving friends!


News from Tim Bullamore, the editor Jane Austen’s Regency World:  the January/February 2010 (No 43) edition of is published today and features the following:

  •  Sex and the city: Dan Cruickshank explains how London was built on the wages of sin
  • Comparing Jane Austen with Iris Murdoch. Dr Gillian Dooley examines similar traits in Austen’s Mansfield Park and Murdoch’s A Fairly Honourable Defeat
  • Jane’s civil rogue. Maggie Lane, consultant editor of JARW, discusses John Murray, Jane’s publisher
  • When the bubble burst: the devastation caused by the South Sea Bubble, by Joanna Brown
  • Three Creole Ladies. Paul Bethel on Empress Josephon, Fanny Nisbet and Jane Leigh Perrot
  • Prince of Prints. Inside Ackermann’s Repository of the Arts, by Sue Wilkes
  • Queen of Science, The tale of Mary Somerville, by Nelly Morrison

NEW for this issue is our Austen Quiz: test your knowledge of Jane Austen 

Plus: book reviews, My Jane Austen (Sandy Welch, who adapted Emma for the BBC) and news from JAS and JASNA [note that Elaine Bander, President of JASNA-Canada, has written an article on the Jane Austen House Tour of 2009] 

There is also the chance to win a Jane Austen audiobook set from Naxos (worth £199) 

Coming up in March/April 2010: a music special: what was on Jane Austen’s iPod, PLUS a FREE CD with every copy, featuring music from Bath in Jane Austen’s time. 

For more information or to subscribe [which you must do!], please visit:


The Chawton House Library‘s latest issue of The Female Spectator just showed up in my mailbox [Vol. 13, No. 4, Autumn 2009] with three fine articles:

  • “Charlotte Lennox’s ‘Spirited and Natural’ Marketing Strategy” by Susan Carlisle, about Lennox’s novel Henrietta (1758) and her adaptation of it into her play The Sister (1769)
  • “The History of the Novel as Glimpsed through Chawton’s Manuscripts,” by Emily C. Friedman
  • “Making Our Literary Mothers: The Case of Delarivier Manley,” by Victoria Joule

You too can receive this newsletter by becoming a Friend of the Library – for more information, visit the website here.


The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has just published its December newsletter, and it too is filled with Austen and holiday goodies:  go to this link to sign up for this free monthly e-newsletter; appended below are links to some of the December issue contents:


In celebration of Jane Austen’s 234th birthday, Cambridge University Press is pleased to offer a 20% discount* on their most recent Austen scholarship.  Search the site for the following titles:

1. Letters of Jane Austen 2 Volume Set from the Cambridge Library Collection – Literary Studies
2. Jane Austen and the Enlightenment, by Peter Knox-Shaw
3. The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen 9 volume HB set [just in case you have an extra $900. lying around…]

Enter Discount Code MW09AUSTEN to receive your discount!
*Offer expires January 1st 2010


Masterpiece Theater: the new three-part Emma will be broadcast FINALLY in the US on January 24 – February 7.  Click here for the latest information and to view the trailer.  Masterpiece also offers the Austen addict a fun piece of selecting which of the PBS “Men of Austen” you would select for a mate – each has a full description of their best qualities and their “turnoffs” – take a look and choose – I will not tell the results, but you can rest assured that John Thorpe has come in last in this selection process!

[oh goodness! – who to choose, who to choose…]


I’ll have more on the Morgan exhibit, but here is a short video of “Fran Lebowitz: Reflections on Austen,” part of the 16 minute “Divine Jane” video presentation that accompanies the exhibit.  The Harriet Walter [a.k.a. Fanny Dashwood] piece is also now available online.

 Stay tuned ~ more to come on the Morgan exhibit…

[Posted by Deb]

News from Chawton House Library and “The Female Spectator” ~

My mailbox gives such pleasure most days! – I have been away for the past week, but before leaving I received the latest issue of The Female Spectator [Vol. 13, No. 3, Summer 2009], published by the Chawton House Library and thus have a few things of interest to share with you….

1.  “Reprinting the Domestic:  New Publications from the Chawton Collection” –

book cover compleat housewife

The Chawton House Library has published the first in its projected series of reprints of books in their collection on women’s lives in the long eighteenth century – cookery books, guides on how to manage domestic servants, how to dress and educate one’s children, instructions on behavior and self-improvement:  Elizabeth Smith’s The Compleat Housewife, originally published in 1753, is now available for purchase for £18 [+ shipping], by visiting the Library’s new online shop at

The next title in the series is James Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women, the reading of which made the Bennet sisters cringe, though it may have been the reader [Mr. Collins] rather than the content?…  can’t wait for this one…

2.  Gillian Dow’s introduction to the July 2009 conference at the Chawton House Library on “New Directions in Austen Studies” is included in the newsletter with the news that selected papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of Persuasions On-Line in Spring 2010.  This is great news for those of us who could not attend the conference!

3.  An article on Frances Brooke, an English writer living in Canada from 1763-1768, by Richard J. Lane.  Brooke wrote her novel The History of Emily Montague [1769] during her Canadian stay and it has been considered the first Canadian novel due to its commentary on social life in Quebec at that time.  Lane contends that her writings deserve a reassessment.

4.  another article “Jane Austen’s Bad Girl: ‘The Beautiful Cassandra’ vs the Conduct Books” by Olivia Murphy.  Murphy writes that Austen’s juvenile work The Beautiful Cassandra [from Volume the First] was an explicit reaction to the conduct books of the late eighteenth century – i.e Cassandra in her “day well spent” engaged in all manner of “bad” behaviors for young ladies.  But such a day! [if you haven’t read this, do so now – it is Austen at her very best!]


The Female Spectator is the quarterly newsletter of Chawton House Library.  You can subscribe by sending a donation to the Library [£55 annual membership] or to the North American Friends of Chawton House Library [starting donation is $50.] – see the website for more information.  It is a worthy cause – and one of the perks is this newsletter showing up in your mailbox!

[Posted by Deb]

In My Mailbox ~ ‘The Female Spectator’

I am always thrilled to find in my mailbox the latest issue [Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter 2009] of The Female Spectator, the newsletter of the Chawton House Library. 

The first article by Helen Cole, a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton, is on “The  Minerva Press and the Illustrations of the Late Eighteenth-Century Novel” – Cole is researching the Minerva Press novels of the 1790s, regarded by many as “historically interesting but of minimal literary value”, yet often illustrated with engravings that had little to do with the narrative, or enhanced with an engraved bookplate, or rebound in fine bindings, thus proving that at the time these books were likely considered valuable to the owner.  The bound-in engravings were not consistently present,  leading one to question on what basis the publisher made these binding decisions.  Cole’s research has been made all the easier since the availability of the Eighteenth Century Collections Online[ECCO]* which allows access to many little-known 18th-century novels. [*note that this source is accessible only to subscribing institutions]

A second article, ” ‘A Chawton Experience’ : Women and Education in the Gentleman’s Magazine and the Anti-Jacobin (1797-1799)” by Helen Loader, a PhD candidate at the University of Winchester, summarizes her research into the reviews in these two journals of works written by or about women, and the often prevailing male view of the lack of education among women writers and the dangers of reading such novels.  Ms. Loader cites to two sources that are available online: 

Emily Lorraine de Montluzin “Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman’s Magazine 1731-1868: an Electronic Union List, University of Virginia –

and Mary Darby Robinson, A Letter to the Women of England on the Injustice of Mental Subordination (1799) at

[this text, part of the University of Maryland’s Romantic Circles database also includes various other related resources]

Other news from the Library:

  • A new acquisition:  a small collection of manuscript family recipe books dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries belonging to three inter-related families.
  • Information on the forthcoming conference, “New Directions in Austen Studies”, July 9-11, 2009, celebrating Austen’s move to Chawton in 1809.
  • Application information for the Chawton House Library visiting fellowships – there are now four scholars in residence positions and applications are due by May 30, 2009.

For more information on the Library, the Conference, the Fellowships and other events, see the Library website .

For information on becoming a member of the Library, click here.  It is worth every penny so you too can find this newsletter in YOUR mailbox!