New Directions in Austen Studies, 9-11 July 2024.

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  • In July 1809, Jane Austen moved to the village of Chawton in Hampshire with her mother and sister, into a cottage owned by her brother, Edward Knight. Thus began the most productive period of Austen’s literary career, as she substantially revised the manuscripts that would become Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey and composed Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.

    To celebrate the bicentenary of Austen’s arrival in the village, Chawton House Library hosted a conference celebrating all aspects of her work held in the library and grounds. Since the 200th anniversary of Austen’s birth in 1975, there has been a wealth of criticism on her life and work. This conference intended to provide an opportunity both to take stock of recent scholarship, and to frame new directions in Austen studies. Speakers included: Linda Bree, Emma Clery, Deirdre Le Faye, Isobel Grundy, Juliet McMaster, Kathryn Sutherland, Janet Todd and John Wiltshire.

    The conference included a closing concert, entitled 'A Chawton Album: Music from the Austen Family Music Books', which will be recorded.   Jane Austen's novels feature many scenes of domestic music-making, yet relatively little is known about musical practice in the homes of the middling gentry.  This concert helps to situate Jane Austen's own music--copied and collected in albums held at the Jane Austen House and Museum at Chawton - within the broader context of family life, by including music collected by her mother, sister and sisters-in-law in the albums they kept themselves and shared with Jane.  The concert links to a conference panel on domestic music-making that seeks to place the Austen family's activities within the thriving culture of amateur music-making in Britain c. 1809.


    Southampton University's web page with further information about the conference can be viewed by
    clicking Here.

    Pictures of the event can viewed Here.

    To view a PDF of the Event Poster click Here.

    To view a PDF of the short program of events click Here.

    To view a PDF of the detailed program of events click Here.

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    New Directions

    New Directions in Austen Studies

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