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The Amazing Charlotte Smith: Poet, Novelist, Feminist, Radical & Inspiration for Jane Austen

The Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8SB

Part of our Extraordinary Women series: Emma Clery, Professor of English Literature will share the story of Charlotte Smith - a celebrated poet, novelist, and children’s writer who wrote powerfully about injustices facing women. PRE-BOOKING RECOMMENDED

Join Emma and meet Charlotte Tuner Smith (1749-1806), an innovative & admired writer of the Romantic period, who for ten years lived in Hampshire close to Winchester.

Wordsworth addressed a sonnet to her in homage, and her novels provided inspiration for the young Jane Austen. She faced severe difficulties in her life. Married at 15 to the heir of a West Indian fortune, her husband turned out to be a bully & a wastrel. Eventually she left him, and attempted to raise her children on her literary earnings. A legal battle over the will of her father-in-law (said to have inspired the Jarndyce & Jarndyce lawsuit in Dickens’s Bleak House) took its toll. Nevertheless, Smith developed an increasingly active interest in politics & was toasted in Paris as one of the ‘lady supporters of the Revolution’. Her son Lionel was eventually expelled from Winchester College as one of the leaders of the Schoolboy Rebellion of 1793.

This talk will survey Charlotte Smith’s remarkable life and writings, and assess her influence.

Emma Clery is a Professor of English at University of Southampton. She has broadcast on TV and radio, including discussions on Radio 4’s In Our Time about Gothic and Jane Austen’s Emma. Her books include Women’s Gothic Writing from Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley and most recently Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister.

●  Saturday 15 September: 1230-1330

Booking Details:
Priority will be given to those who have pre-booked.

Additional Information:
Talk will last 1 hour.