#FickleFortunes – Austen & Staël at 200 Years
Two celebrated writers - their careers, successes and reputations at 200 years on ……
July 1817 saw two deaths – of Jane Austen, an English novelist with a solid but relatively modest success, and of Germaine de Staël, a long-standing superstar of pan-European intellectual, political and literary life. The two authors were certainly aware of each other, but never met.
Over the two centuries since, the relative reputations of both have re-aligned in ways that would have astonished their contemporaries, admirers and critics alike. Chawton House Library – a library devoted to the examination of the lives and works of women writers, housed in the Elizabethan Manor House belonging to Austen’s brother Edward – will host an exhibition on Staël and Austen from 12 June to 24 September 2017, exploring their most celebrated works, and the waxing and waning of female literary celebrity.
We have been successful in a bid of £5,000 from the Friends of the National Libraries, to purchase a first edition of Staël’s 1807 novel Corinne. This central exhibit will sit alongside a first edition of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). But we need to raise a further £10,000 to curate and interpret our material for visitors in 2017.
Please help us to bring these two writers together for the first time in 200 years, and to tell the stories of women writers who wrote alongside Jane Austen.
We hope you will feel inspired to support us .