Become a Subscriber

Become a Subscriber 2016-12-20T16:44:03+00:00

A unique opportunity to join the same literary tradition as ‘Miss J. Austen, Steventon’.

Following the success of The Duties of a Lady’s Maid, Chawton House Press will be publishing a transcribed copy of The Journal of Louisa Lushington (1821-1822) – with an introduction by Linda Slothouber – complete with a list of subscribers.

Why not take the opportunity to follow this venerable tradition yourself by Becoming a Subscriber – or choosing it as a memorable gift for a friend or family member by purchasing a Gift Subscription.

Jane Austen only had her name in print twice in her lifetime – on both occasions as a ‘book subscriber’. One can only imagine the pleasure this budding author had when seeing her name in print, along with the great and good of her day. Join Jane by subscribing to The Journal of Louisa Lushington (1821-1822). Though Louisa was in many ways a conventional young lady, living quietly within her family circle, the prominence of her family members gave her a prime view of social and political affairs. This fascinating journal commences on 4 March 1821, with the family’s departure from Naples at the time of the Carbonari uprising and records their return to London just before the coronation of King George IV.

The journal also describes a visit to Godmersham Park, where Louisa stayed with Edward Austen (later Knight) and his family. Of the younger Knights she said they have “admirable knack of inventing & relating as fats, things which never did, or could have taken place, and this with the gravest faces imaginable…”. Perhaps they inherited their famous aunt’s ability to create stories!

Louisa could be as acerbic as Jane Austen in her comments about other people. She dubs one lady at a ball “a cream-coloured horse dressed in a pink gown”, and gives one of her own dancing partners the soubriquet “The Plague of Egypt”, owing to his habit of rattling on about “Jerusalem, Grand Cairo, mosques, temples, ruins, hieroglyphics, tombs & the zodiac” while waltzing.

As amusing as Louisa’s journal is, scholars of the Regency period will find much more of interest in its pages. The meticulous chronicling of the Lushingtons’ journeys by land and sea shows that social prominence was no defence against dirty inns and troublesome horses. At the same time, it shows the extent to which some English travellers created enclaves abroad that insulated them from local communities and unfamiliar ways.

Gift Aid your Friendship at no extra cost to you

Chawton House Library is a registered charity, and Gift Aid is a great way to support us even further. For every £1 you give through your Friendship, we can claim 25p in addition from HM Revenue and Customs at no extra cost to you. Consent to Gift Aid and you will be giving the Library at least an extra £9 a year through your Friendship.

You can do this simply by ticking the Gift Aid declaration when you fill out the Become a Subscriber form or by telling us you wish to make a Gift Aid declaration over the phone.

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To become a subscriber

Simply complete one of the forms below and post it back to us or call us on 01420 541010.

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