austen lectures

I am preparing several Austen-related talks that are based on her letters, as well as family diaries & letters. They discuss Austen’s life, historic Hampshire and England, and facets of Austen’s fiction. To inquire about booking a lecture, please email me at smithandgosling [at] gmail [dot] com.

Audiences are enjoying the writings of JANE AUSTEN more than ever. Films and television productions have recently brought new fans to the delightful parrying of Elizabeth and Darcy, the matchmaking of Emma, the rekindled love of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. These lectures broaden knowledge of Austen’s life as family and friends described it, as well as the legacy her writings brought future generations.

Jane Austen in Letters Presents the life of Jane Austen in readings from family and friend correspondence. This moving presentation takes fans, readers and novices from the birth of “Jenny” Austen in December 1775 to her death at age 41 as recorded by her sister Cassandra in July 1817, months prior to the publication of her just-finished novel, Persuasion.

Edward Austen’s Emma Reads Emma In 1828, Jane’s nephew and first biographer James-Edward Austen (later, Austen-Leigh) married his beloved Emma Smith. During the period of their engagement they read together his Aunt’s novel, Emma — but did these two Emmas have more than just a name in common…??

Illustrated lecture Derbyshires Corresponding: Elizabeth Bennet and the Austen Tour of 1833 Based on the diary of Emma Austen (now a young mother of three) and a lengthy letter written en route by her sister Maria Smith, we examine a nineteenth-century tour to Derbyshire – focusing on places Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt & Uncle, Mr and Mrs Gardiner, visited in 1812 (the year before Miss Austen described for posterity the courtship of the Darcys of Pemberley…), i.e., “all the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, or the Peak” [Pride and Prejudice, 239].

Horseback, Donkey Cart, and Carriage: Travels in Austen’s Era Jane Austen’s family and friends describe the perils of daily travel. Speed and carelessness; bolting horses and breakdowns; mishaps and accidents; and Death sometimes waits upon the road…

London & Paris through the Eyes of Jane Austen, Abigail Adams, and Eliza de Feuillade Letters from Austen and Adams illustrate this look at Georgian London, while those of Jane’s cousin Eliza complements Abigail’s look at Revolutionary Paris.

Paris through the Eyes of Eliza de Feuillade and Abigail & Nabby Adams Letters describe Paris in the era and aftermath of Marie Antoinette’s reign. Horace Walpole and Mrs Thrale also join them in some sightings of France’s last Queen. Royal Watchers welcome!

Illustrated Lecture Georgiana Darcy and the ‘Naïve Art’ of Young Ladies The drawings of Georgiana Darcy capture the attention of Elizabeth Bennet – more so than the works of masters which grace the walls and gallery of Pemberley.  To find out why Young Ladies could be such captivating artists we look at works by (among others) Diana Sperling, Augusta Smith (Emma’s sister), Madame Lefroy (Jane Austen’s friend), and Mrs Anna Lefroy (Jane Austen’s niece).



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