Chawton House’s digital magazine The Female Spectator vol 6, no. 1. This bumper issue covers the whole of 2022.
The Female Spectator 6.1 (2022 bumper issue)
Paying tribute to pioneering women
Originally set up in 1995, Chawton House’s magazine The Female Spectator is a tribute to Eliza Haywood’s publication of the same name, published from April 1744-May 1746. Haywood’s magazine provides a fascinating insight into eighteenth-century life, with content including fiction, moral essays, social and political commentary, and topics as diverse as tea drinking, gambling, diplomacy and natural history. In the opening pages, we are introduced to the female spectator, a reformed coquet who, having spent her youth engaged in ‘a hurry of promiscuous diversions’, is now older, wiser, and ready to share ‘useful and entertaining’ insights with the public. Haywood’s female spectator stresses that her ‘ambition was to be as universally read as possible.’
Relaunched as a digital publication in 2020, our new Female Spectator continues Chawton House’s tradition of sharing both news from Chawton House itself and the fascinating and varied work done by researchers and scholars on its collections, and particularly on women writers in the long eighteenth century. Magazines in the eighteenth century were spaces in which amateur writers and professionals mingled, reviewing the latest novels or fashions, writing poetry or short stories, sharing riddles or recipes, and it is this spirit that we want to reflect.
In this issue:
- Exhibitions: Overviews of our 2 major exhibitions in 2022: A Costume of Sport and Trailblazers: women travel writers and the exchange of knowledge, as well as highlights from our displays
- In the Gardens: Seasonal updates from our Head Gardener, a view of the Christmas Glimmering Gardens, and a peek at some of our new benches, funded by our North American Friends
- New Acquisitions & Loans: including a very special edition of Austen’s Emma and a first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Posthumous Works
- Digital Chawton: Introducing the first Chawton House audiobook
- Emerging Research: Visiting Fellows, Library interns and work experience students share research undertaken in our Reading Room.