“English verdure, English culture, English comfort, seen under a sun bright, without being oppressive.”
Emma 1816

Chawton House Library is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Emma, by John Murray, in December 1815, with a landmark exhibition ‘Emma at 200: from English Village to Global Appeal’.

Dr. Gillian Dow, Executive Director, Chawton House Library and curator of the exhibition said, “I am pleased to say that the interest in our exhibition on the much-loved novel has already been “global” and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world when we open the exhibition on the 21st March.”

Exhibition postcard image

We have been fortunate enough to have a wide range of exhibits offered to us on loan from some of the world’s most prestigious research libraries, including the National Library of Scotland, the Huntington Library in California, King’s College, Cambridge, and the University of Göttingen, Germany. We will exhibit unique items such as a letter from Charlotte Brontë on her reading of Emma, a rare first English edition, the first American edition and the first French translation, first editions of books mentioned in Emma, and manuscript material, including music books, commonplace books, and original letters from other nineteenth-century women writers who read and responded to Jane Austen.

However, the opportunity to exhibit such treasured possessions for the very first time at Chawton House Library does come at a price. For even though the items are kindly being loaned to us for free, we have to cover all the extra logistical costs, such as transport, security and insurance.

To help us meet these exceptional costs, we need to raise at least £8,000.

Every donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received and will help contribute towards the cost of staging this important exhibition.

For those able to donate more, for a minimum of £200/$200 we will recognise such generosity and support within the exhibition and record such donors as our EXHIBITION BENEFACTORS.

Please click the links to the right to donate online.  Please make it clear that you are supporting the ‘Emma at 200’ exhibition.

U.S. donations can be made through North American Friends of Chawton House Library. This is a U.S. section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organisation.  Donations are deductible for purposes of U.S. income taxes and will be acknowledged with a tax receipt.