Welcome back to Chawton House Library Conversations: September 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 look back over another busy few weeks. Whilst commemorating 200 years since Jane Austen’s death, we also held several garden events. The grounds were abuzz on a sweltering day for our very first Plant Fair. Garden Manager Andrew Bentley tells us about the success of the day, which hosted 15 specialist plant nurseries. He took two packed garden tours around the grounds, giving new visitors the opportunity to enjoy the landscape. We also speak to author and broadcaster, Roy Lancaster, CBE. He tells us where his love of plants came from. Listen to hear from the some of the nursery owners and organisers of the day. They clearly enjoyed themselves and hope the event can be repeated in the future.

The likelihood of this depends on the success of our fundraising. We speak to Jane Lillystone, Head of Fundraising, who gives us more news since the last update. She is hopeful for the future, but stresses that more support is needed. Every pound that comes through the door keeps this place open for visitors to enjoy. She tells us what our friends in America have been doing to help. If you want to help us then you might consider doing #TheDarcyLook! Get wet in a white shirt and text donate JANE03 £3 to 70070.

Whilst we are making our funding more secure, we have had to unfortunately suspend the Visiting Fellows program. We spoke to the last of them with not a small degree of sadness. However, their research undertaken here yields some fascinating insights! Listen to hear more about it.

Finally we talk to Post Doctoral Fellow, Kim Simpson, who tells us about our upcoming events. These continue to celebrate Jane Austen’s life and legacy. Our next event is on 28th September, titled ‘Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister‘. To see our other upcoming events click here.

Look as you listen:

Garden Manager, Andrew with Roy Lancaster


Our first ever Plant Fair


Our four Visiting Fellows for August and our residential researcher. Pictured is Mika Suzuki (left) and Fellows (l-r) Victoria Joule, Lindsey Seatter, Emily Friedman and Karen Gevirtz.