Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations: January Podcast. 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 we hear from noted historical fiction writer Edward Rutherfurd, who gave a wonderful
after-dinner speech at our fundraising supper back in December. His talk which was on writers and their homes which he discusses with us, as well as going into detail about how he went from doing a Business degree to becoming a novelist. We hear about his extensive research into his first novel, Sarum, which went on to become an international bestseller and has now been translated into twenty languages.

We also hear from two scholars who gave a talk on the bicentenary of Frankenstein‘s composition. The first is Dr David Higgins from the University of Leeds, who discusses with us how the global cooling after an enormously devastating volcanic eruption in 1816 had an effect on the climate, as well as contemporary literature. The second scholar is Anna Mercer, a PhD student from the University of York. Throughout the year she has been creating a number of public events to coincide with the bicentenary of Frankenstein‘s composition, looking at the summer the Shelleys spent in Geneva with Lord Byron. Her talk focussed on the ways in which the Shelleys collaborated together on many of their works and how her research has led her to studying original manuscripts with both their handwriting on the page.

Finally, we hear from our Executive Director Gillian Dow, who tells us about upcoming events after the library’s holiday closure. Our first event is the evening Wassail, hosted by our Head Gardener Andrew, on January 17. Our first talk is on Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi on 2 February. Listen to the rest of the podcast to hear what else is coming up on our calendar and click here to book tickets.

Look as you listen: 

Edward Rutherfurd, best-selling historical fiction novelist, at our Christmas Supper event

Dr David Higgins

Anna Mercer