‘There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort’, wrote Jane Austen in Emma. But what did Jane Austen actually do with her downtime? If we were able to step inside the parlours and drawing rooms of the eighteenth century we’d find houses busy with home-made culture – book groups and tea table parties; punch and bawdy jokes; groups of women weeping their way through popular sentimental fiction; children stumbling through poems before their maiden aunts, and men proudly showing off their amateur collections of fossils or miniatures. This is what we did in those long evenings before we had Netflix, Fortnite or Spotify. Come and experience that lost world of domestic culture and performance in a genuine eighteenth-century interior. We will draw on contemporary collections of poetry, music, letters and novels to recreate an evening of readings and music from the Georgian parlour.

Refreshments inspired from the period will be provided at the event.

About Abigail Williams
Abigail Williams is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She works on eighteenth-century literature, digital humanities and the history of reading, and was Oxford’s first Knowledge Exchange Champion for the Humanities. She currently leads on innovation in the English Faculty at Oxford. She has a background in public engagement, and has presented her work on radio and broadsheet media, in song and writing, and in heritage venues. She has recently presented the three part BBC Radio 4 series Pride or Prejudice: How we read now'.

Date: 4 February

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Venue: Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Price: £12 + Booking Fee

Book here