Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations: April Podcast. First launched on Sunday 8 March 2015 while celebrating 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 Visiting Fellow Professor Gillian Russell from the University of Melbourne, who gave a most noteworthy talk on private theatricals. These amateur drama performances were very popular during Georgian Britain, enjoyed by many, including Jane Austen! Gillian also tells us about her current research and the work she is doing during her visiting fellowship.

The Library is a good place for early career researchers to soak up the atmosphere of the Library devoted to early women’s writing. Studying with us this spring are Alison Turner, Lisa Ebert and Cailey Hall all researching very different subjects.

We also hear from our current intern Emma, who has been rather busy during her time here! She found out about us from friends at JASNA – the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Finally, we hear about the evening concert performed live at the Library. The recital used the words of Jane Austen’s juvenilia ‘A History of England’, set to music. Characters included both Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth the First! We learn about the inspiration behind this witty melodrama from composer John Howell Morrison.

Look as you listen:

Professor Gillian Russell, our Marilyn Butler Visiting Fellow for 2016-2017


Our Visiting Fellows Gillian Russell, Alison Turner and Shawn Cailey Hall


Our intern Emma with the Visiting Fellows. While dressed for a Regency dinner, they created a meal from the Knight Family Cookbook


The evening recital “Jane’s History: A Theatrical Concert of Pincushion Wit” was a riotous success, because of the stunning and playful performances of the musicians