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.
This month, Professor Elaine Chalus from Bath Spa University gave a riveting evening talk, ‘Coping with Separation during the Napoleonic Wars – the Fremantle Papers, c.1800-14’. In this podcast, Elaine explores the female perspective on travelling on naval excursions, music on board the ships, and the treatment of the crew. Showcasing the female diarist Elizabeth (Betsey) Wynne Fremantle (1778-1857), we find out about Elaine’s work to bring the Freemantle Papers to a wider audience.
We are always keen to hear from visitors to Chawton House Library. Here, we catch up over tea and cake with Yvette and John Knowland from Worthing in West Sussex. We also hear from Head Housekeeper Carol Smith on her role and interacting with our visitors in the Tea Room.
As Spring blooms in our gardens, and our Elizabeth Blackwell herb garden begins to take shape, we talk to two of April’s Visiting Fellows. Jennifer Minnen (Princeton University) talks about researching botany in late eighteenth-century literature. Jen’s work focuses on plants and women’s writing, in particular Charlotte Brontë and Maria Edgeworth, whose botanical writing is often neglected.
Finally, we hear from Tess Somervell (University of Cambridge) on her research on Georgic poetry focusing on Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 – 1720) and her nature and retirement poetry. Find out about Tess’s experience of being a fellow here at Chawton House Library, both working inside the library and getting outside and exploring our gardens and estate.
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