Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations: July 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 arrived to a packed house at Chawton House Library. Dr Paula Byrne, recent biographer of Jane Austen, gave an entertaining talk on Jane Austen in Hollywood. This was given as part of Regency Week, and members of the public accordingly donned their Regency dress and finery. There was even a pineapple reticule seen! The audience were treated to a discussion on why Jane Austen’s works are continually adapted for the screen. In the podcast Paula explains how the novels’ structure, wit and dialogue makes them perfect for the theatricality of film. She also discusses ‘post-heritage’ adaptations such as Clueless. This is a wonderful example of remaining faithful to Emma‘s theme, whilst also refreshing it for a new audience. Click to hear more about it!

We talk to our four Visiting Fellows, who this month have travelled far and wide to study here. Two of them are from the beautiful state of Tennessee. We hear first from Jane Wessel, who tells us about her work on literary property in eighteenth-century theaters. Our other Tennessee Visiting Fellow, Douglas Murray, tells us about a nearly forgotten tradition in literature, ‘the female ramble novel’. Amelia Dale from Sydney tells us about her interest in the anxiety of novel reading in the mid-to-late eighteenth century, especially with female readers. Our final Visiting Fellow Tonya Moutray, another American, has been looking at fashion trends in the early nineteenth century. In particular, the appropriation of religious dress by more secular women.

Finally we hear about the Independent Libraries Association’s annual conference, hosted here at Chawton House Library. Our librarian Dr Darren Bevin, tells us about the topics brought up by other independent libraries and how we can work together. Due to the uncertainty of the future, hopefully there will be regional support networks set up for libraries. To learn more click the link to read Darren’s blog post

Look as you listen:

Dr Paula Byrne giving her talk


People getting into the spirit of Regency Week


Our Visiting Fellows from left to right Amelia Dale, Jane Wessel, Tonya Moutray, and Douglas Murray. Here they are discussing their research with us for the last time, hence the cake!


The Independent Libraries Association’s annual conference held here