Running Schedule: 25 April, 2021

Welcome to this virtual study day on William Cowper at Chawton House!

The videos below will premier on YouTube at the specified times, and you can access them by clicking the Watch Now buttons. They will be freely available to view at any time after that.

Join the conversation on Twitter #CowperXAusten

Time (BST) Speaker Topic
16:30 Cowper & Newton Museum
The Cowper & Newton Museum is based in Orchard Side House in Olney, Buckinghamshire, which from 1768 to 1786 was the home of William Cowper.
 William Cowper’s Home

Further Resources

16:45 Emma Yandle & Deborah Barnum
Emma Yandle is the Curator & Collections Manager at Chawton House.Deborah Barnum is a former law librarian, now owner of Bygone Books, an online shop of fine and collectible books and ephemera in Bluffton, SC. She co-founded the JASNA Vermont Region, is a board member of the North American Friends of Chawton House, and compiles the annual “Year in Burney Studies” for the Burney Journal. She authors the blogs Jane Austen in Vermont, Bygone Books, and Reading with Austen: Returning the Lost Sheep of Godmersham.
William Cowper at Chawton House: Godmersham’s Lost Sheep

Further Resources

17:00 Professor Karen O’Brien

Karen is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a scholar of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature and ideas. She is a Trustee of Chawton House.

Why Cowper Matters

Please note, this link will take you to the live stream at 5pm and will not work before this time.

Further Resources

17:15 Dr Katherine Turner

Katherine is a professor of English at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia. Her main areas of academic interest are eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travel writing, women’s writing, and eighteenth-century poetry. She has edited Laurence Sterne’s eighteenth-century novel, A Sentimental Journey (Broadview, 2010) and several volumes of Women’s Court and Society Memoirs in the Chawton House Library Series (Pickering, 2010). She guest-edited the Cowper and Newton Journal in 2018 on the theme of ‘Home and Away’, to which she also contributed an essay on Cowper and the Newspapers.

Cowper and Abolition

Further Resources

17:30 Dr Tessa Whitehouse

Tessa is a Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature at Queen Mary University of London, where she directs the Centre for Religion and Literature in English (QMCRLE). She is the author of The Textual Culture of English Protestant Dissent 1720-1800 (OUP, 2015) and articles on memorial practices, diaries, autobiography, letters, friendship and Transatlantic literary exchanges. She has co-edited three essay collections: Textual Transformations (OUP, 2019), Reconstructing Early Modern Religious Lives: The Exemplary and the Mundane (E-rea, 2020) and Religion and Life Cycles in Early Modern England (MUP, in press). The current focus of her research is friendship and lived religion.

Cowper, Faith and Women’s Letters

Further Resources

17:45 Professor Stephen Bending

Stephen is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Southampton. He has published widely on the representation of gender, identity, and emotion in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and much of his work focuses on gardens. He is editor of A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Enlightenment (Bloomsbury, 2013) and author of a monograph, Green Retreats: Women, Gardens and Eighteenth-Century Culture (CUP, 2013). Recently, he has worked on the garden-hating popularizer of the picturesque, William Gilpin, and on the symbolic meaning of plants during the Enlightenment.

Cowper and Landscape

Further Resources

 18:00 Dr Tess Somervell
Tess is a Lecturer in English at Worcester College, Oxford, and is Membership Secretary for the British Association for Romantic Studies. She previously held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Leeds. Her main area of research is British poetry from 1660 to 1830, and her first book, Reading Time in the Long Poem: Milton, Thomson, and Wordsworth, is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press.
Cowper’s The Task

Further Resources

  • Podcast: Out of Silence 4: William Cowper. Professors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin read lines from The Task and discuss the value of staying at home and not doing very much.
18:15 Dr Jane Darcy

Jane is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at King’s College London. William Cowper was a central figure in her PhD study of melancholy in the eighteenth century, later published by Palgrave as Melancholy and Literary Biography, 1640-1816 (2013). She has subsequently worked on possible reasons for Jane Austen’s great attachment to Cowper and Dr Johnson.

Cowper and Jane Austen

Further Resources

18:45 Comfort break
19:00 – 20:00 Professor Nicola J Watson

Nicola holds a chair in English Literature at The Open University. She is a specialist in the literature and culture of the Romantic period, with particular interests in the history of authorship, literary tourism and the writer’s house museum. She is director of the AHRC-funded RÊVE (Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition), which contains many exhibits related to William Cowper and Jane Austen. She is a Trustee of the Cowper and Newton Museum.

The Making of the Writer’s House: from Cowper’s Orchardside to Austen’s Chawton

co-hosted by the Jane Austen House, with readings by Sam West

How and when did the writer’s house museum come into being? How and why do we seek to curate an author’s life through preserving domestic spaces? Professor Nicola J Watson will be talking about how domestic spaces and objects have served to provide access to something of the writerly life and to build popular notions of authorship. And she’ll be reflecting on why the idealised domesticity of Orchard House and Chawton Cottage has special appeal in a time of lockdown.

This session, followed by a Q&A, is taking place on Zoom, and will only be available to ticket holders

Further Resources

Other books mentioned during the session: