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.
In November’s podcast we hear from Fiona Stafford, Professor of English at the University of Oxford and Vice-Principal of Somerville College. Professor Stafford tells us of the impact that the Battle of Waterloo had on the major writing of the period, in particular how it affected traditional ideas of the hero and the heroic. We discuss the significance of the Battle of Waterloo in Byron’s Don Juan and Jane Austen’s Persuasion – two texts that Professor Stafford later focused on in her lecture.
Librarian Dr Darren Bevin gives us an insight into the collection of rare and unique books and manuscripts held by Chawton House Library, and we talk about the importance of the current book conservation programme. Volunteer Carol Knight joins us to talk about her connection with the house and her volunteer work in the Library. Carol is the wife of Jeremy Knight and lived in Chawton House for about 20 years before coming back to volunteer.
We also head outside to say hello to the five shire horses on the estate and talk to Angela, the Head Horseman, who, along with her colleague Simone, is currently training one of the younger horses and maintaining the woodland on the 270-acre estate. Angela tells us of her love and admiration for the ‘gentle giants’ and how her aim is to raise money to buy new harnesses for them.
Next month we will have news of the special fundraising supper in the company of best-selling novelist, Joanna Trollope, taking place on 5 December.