Clio from Chawton House – Tatty Devine

ByDavid L. Juliano

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Dearest readers, we are thrilled to inform you that our newest collaboration, Tatty Devine X Chawton Home has coaxed the inner Janeite out of each and every and just about every member of Staff Tatty. Forget about the tattlings of Lady Whistledown, we’re heading straight to the oracle: give a regency wave to Clio O’Sullivan, lover of literature and Communications and Public Engagement Manager at Chawton Home! From top secret scandals to all the Jane Austen related info and the background of Chawton Property, be part of us for the within scoop now!

Can you explain what you do in five words?

Sharing stories of incredible women!


As with any excellent property, its record is chequered with every subsequent technology building their have alterations and additions. That is why it has such a distinctive shape with rooms and staircases primary to unpredicted places! The Dwelling came into the Knight family in the 1500s although not often passing immediately from father to son. For this reason the Austen link – Jane’s older brother inherited the Chawton estate from distant childless family members with the stipulation he alter his surname to Knight.

Edward gave the aged bailiff’s cottage in the village to his mother and sisters in which to stay rent totally free. In the 1990s American entrepreneur Sandy Lerner purchased the lease from the Knight spouse and children and thoroughly restored Chawton Household, which experienced rather fallen into a point out of disrepair. She amassed a substantial assortment of early contemporary women’s producing and integrated the charity, Chawton Home Library, into a centre of eighteenth-century investigation. Sandy stepped away from Chawton Home in 2016 and as effectively as remaining a area for scientists, we also grew to become a beloved heritage web site with House, Gardens and Parkland open up to the public for readers to delight in all yr spherical.

What is your favourite element of this detailed setting up? 

I actually do love the Oak Room, which would have been the females withdrawing place in Jane Austen’s day. As this kind of, we have hung portraits that replicate this sense of a feminine coterie, displaying artists, writers and actresses, like my favourite portrait, Mary Robinson. It has beautiful sights of the Gardens and distant Parkland and in accordance to Knight spouse and children legend is the place Jane Austen employed to sit in the reading through alcove.

 Clio in the looking at alcove in the Oak Place.


Do you have fun historic information about Chawton?

If you glimpse very carefully, you are going to discover witch marks carved on different details of entry all over the property: above doorways, by fireplaces, on bannisters. These could possibly seem like careless scratches but truly offer you security in opposition to evil spirits.


As a postgraduate exploration pupil finding out English, getting surrounded by the best feminist library we have at any time found need to be so thrilling. What initial drew you to Chawton House?


The library for absolutely sure! The selection supplied everything I essential and additional whilst investigating for my masters in eighteenth-century literature at Southampton, such as diaries, manuscripts and some novels found nowhere else in the globe. Whilst there, I applied for their dwell-in internship programme and acquired to stay onsite for six weeks, which was just magical. Following that they asked me to continue to be on in a non permanent function and 7 several years later on right here I nonetheless am! It’s genuinely been the earning of me.  


It’s been a desire for us to collaborate with you on a selection, what is your favorite piece and why?


Certainly the Jane Austen Bookshelf Necklace – it is the top statement piece for any bibliophile. It’s so lovely and the wood back gives so significantly depth to all the diverse colored books showcased, plus it suggests Chawton on it!


You a short while ago curated an exhibition at Chawton House, A Costume of Sport, hunting at clothes worn for exercise in the Georgian and Regency intervals, what was the stand out star you highlighted in the exhibit?


You’re all no strangers to uncommon accessories at Tatty Devine so I would say the pattens from the early 1800s. These are clumsy platforms, nailed to an iron ring to give women a bit of elevation, intended to protect their sneakers and hems from filth. Jane Austen wore a pair and referred to “the ceaseless clink of pattens” in her novel Persuasion.



Pattens c.1800s, on personal loan to Chawton Home from the Hampshire Cultural Rely on

As qualified Jane-ites, we have taken a nearer search at frequent Chawton customer Jane Austen’s perform in our collection. You have an impending party about the scandals of Austen’s loved ones – is there any gossip you can share with us?
That’s proper, I’m speaking on all factors scandalous as element of Alton’s Jane Austen Regency 7 days in June. I won’t give far too considerably away but let us just say there was a bit of a to-do when Jane Austen’s nephew ran off to Gretna Green for a hasty relationship! 

Is there something else interesting coming up at Chawton that we just will need to know about?
I’m so energized for our summer time of out of doors theatre! We have some wonderful organizations coming to Chawton House for a single-off performances, setting up with the Handlebard’s Twelfth Evening on June 15, followed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Adult males executing As You Like it on July 14. Then the hilarious The Relevance of Getting Earnest on July 26 prior to closing with Pleasure and Prejudice on September 4.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Males undertaking out of doors theatre on the South Garden at Chawton House.


Ready for some quickfire questions…


Favourite Jane Austen e book? 


P&P if I want a chuckle, Persuasion if I’m sensation sentimental.


Which inspirational females must we be pursuing? 


Rupi Kaur’s poetry is often a source of inspiration to me and Jameela Jamil’s candid championing of women’s legal rights is both insightful and at instances hilarious.


Bonnets, yay or nay?


Why prevent at bonnets?! I say yay to all historical hat dress in – I even wore a Regency Casqua a la Minerve to my cousin’s marriage ceremony!

On it like a bonnet!

Dying for a glimpse close to but not in the United kingdom? Look at out Clio’s digital tour below!
Many thanks for chatting with us Clio, you are a legitimate historic hero and your taste in headwear is dare we say, exquisite! Shop our NEW collaboration with Chawton Property on the internet and in-retailer now. 


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