This year is the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen’s novel Emma. It was published by John Murray II on 23 December 1815, with 1816 on the title page. In March Chawton House Library will be launching an exhibition to commemorate this landmark in Jane Austen’s publishing career.
Items from the Chawton collection, and the Knight family collection will be used to talk about the world of the novel and its reception through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
It has been suggested that Donwell Abbey in Emma was modelled on Chawton House.
An entire room of the exhibition is going to be devoted to the topic of female accomplishments – music, painting and, of course, needlework – which readers of the novel will know loom large in this, as in all, Austen’s novels.
Embroidery from the Great Lady’s Magazine Stitch Off will be on show at the exhibition.
The exhibition runs from 21 March to 25 September 2016.
Chawton House Library is an internationally respected research and learning centre for the study of early women’s writing from 1600 to 1830. Access to the library’s unique collection is for the benefit of scholars and the general public alike. Set in the quintessentially English manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward.