Members Meeting - Nov 27 2010

Reading in the Rectory: Did Jane Know These Books? 

Amber Adams fascinated a standing-room only audience with her presentation of books from Jane Austen's time. Making use of her personal book collection, Amber showed us books from the mid-17th century to the mid-18th century. Her friendly amanuensis, Laine Simpson, carefully displayed these old, well-worn documents. The book list ranged from volumes that Jane Austen's father might have known to books written by and about people in Jane Austen's world. Some of these are referred to in Jane’s writing; some she may have seen in her father’s library; she may have been familiar with some of the plays. These books were available at the time from booksellers, grocers and pedlars. Widely dispersed and used ephemeral material helped us understand terms used in the novels, such as buying a book in boards. 

Amber Adams is a former librarian at the Queen's University of Belfast and current editor of Bronte Studies.