Friday 27th January 2023

Venue: Online

Our second Deirdre Le Faye Memorial Lecture takes place online, 7-8.30pm GMT

Until the boom in Austen criticism from the 1970s onwards, Jane Austen’s novels were routinely seen as training manuals for conduct – given to girls and colonials as wholesome reading with assumed moral and social benefits. The past is not always wrong. In this talk, Janet Todd looks at Jane Austen as mentor, the giver of robust advice (albeit laced with irony) on conversing, on bodily ailments, and on attitudes to nature. Her talk ranges from Love and Freindship to Sanditon, with a long stay in Persuasion’s Lyme. 

About the speaker 

Professor Janet Todd is an internationally renowned scholar and novelist, known especially for her biographies of women writers including Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aphra Behn. After working as an academic around the world, Janet now lives in Cambridge. Her recent novels and memoirs include Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden (2021), Don’t You Know There’s a War On (2020), Radiation Diaries: Cancer, Memory and Fragments of a Life in Words (2018), and A Man of Genius (2016). You can read more on her website or follow her on Twitter @Jan_Todd. 

About Deirdre Le Faye 

Deirdre Le Faye (26 October 1933 – 16 August 2020) was a celebrated authority on Jane Austen, whose meticulous scholarship and comprehensive knowledge continues to provide the foundation for today’s Austen experts and fans alike. Her books include Jane Austen: A Family Record (1989; 2004), The Jane Austen Cookbook (with Maggie Black, 1995) and A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family, 1600-2000 (2006). She was working on the fifth edition of her edited collection Jane Austen’s Letters when she passed away, and it remains a vital reference text. On passing, Deirdre generously left her collection of books and papers to Chawton House, where they are available to scholars wanting to follow up the leads she provided. We remember her each year with a Deirdre Le Faye memorial lecture, and with a Deirdre Le Faye Visiting Fellowship, offered to an early career scholar working on Austen. 

Tickets £6 

This is an online event. The cut off to purchase tickets is midnight on the day before the event. Ticket holders will be emailed a Zoom link on the day of the event. If you do not receive joining details by midday (UK time) on the day of the event, please email with your order number. The lecture will be recorded and emailed out to those who cannot join synchronously within 3 days. Access to working internet is required. Please note this event will take place live. All times are UK GMT