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 December’s podcast we hear from our special guest Joanna Trollope OBE who  attended our Christmas fundraising supper on 5th December.  Joanna talks about her contemporary reworking of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as part of The Austen Project and her admiration for Austen’s works. We discuss the translation of Austen’s work into a modern day novel and how the essence of Austen’s writing still has such relevance in today’s society.

Dr Rebecca Bullard from the University of Reading helps us delve into the world of secret history – a scandalous, iconoclastic, polemical form of history writing – which flourished in the partisan political climate of early eighteenth-century England. Looking at women as both subjects and writers, we explore the special place that women occupied in the secret history tradition, which Dr Bullard later focuses on in her talk at Chawton.

We also hear from our Visiting Fellow Emma Butcher, a doctoral candidate at the University of Hull, who is working on the Brontes and war, with particular reference to Charlotte and Branwell’s Angrian Saga, and the influence of post-Napoleonic ideas of heroism. Emma talks about the unique library collection here at Chawton that Tony Yablon, who sponsored her Yablon fellowship in Bronte Studies, kindly donated enabling her to carry out her research.

Next month we will have news from the Marilyn Butler Conference taking place here at Chawton House Library on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th December.

Look as you listen:


Joanna Trollope OBE, who gave a talk on the magic of Jane Austen at the Christmas at Chawton fundraising supper on 5 December.

emma butcher

Tony Yablon, who sponsored the Yablon fellowship in Bronte Studies, is pictured here with Emma Butcher, University of Hull.

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