About the Charity

Jane Austen's House is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Reg No. 1156458).

Trustees of Jane Austen’s House

Isabel Hughes – Chair

Isabel Hughes moved to Hampshire in 1991 and lives locally.  Isabel is Curator of Collections & Engagement at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) at the University of Reading.  She has held curatorial and learning posts in a variety of museums and heritage organisations; as Assistant Keeper at the Livesey Museum, London Borough of Southwark, Assistant Education Officer at the Royal Armouries, HM Tower of London, Head of Education at Hampshire County Museums Service and Head of Access & Learning at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, South East.  She spent four years as an independent consultant working on access, learning, interpretation and training projects in the arts and heritage sectors before joining MERL.  Isabel serves as a member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s register of expert advisers, assessing, monitoring and mentoring funded projects.   Her main areas of interest are access, engagement and interpretation in museums and the heritage.

Naomi Conway

Naomi Conway is Development Director for the UK’s National Parks. Previously she was Head of Development at the National Portrait Gallery, leading on Corporate, Membership and Trust & Foundation fundraising. In 2008/9 Naomi took a secondment to The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts as Development Director. Naomi started her fundraising career with the charity Sense and Chicken Shed Theatre Company.

Martyn Dell

Martyn Dell has been a Trustee of JAHM and the previous Jane Austen Memorial Trust since March 2012. Now retired, he spent his whole career within the NHS primarily as a senior planner and manager in the Basingstoke area and within a national team. He lives in nearby Alton where he is closely involved with the Alton Society and Curtis Museum.  Committed to strengthening JAHM’s local and wider connections, he is a member of the Jane Austen Society (UK and Hampshire Group) and the Jane Austen Society of North America. He also works at JAHM as a volunteer steward and enjoys the direct interaction with visitors from near and far.  His wife, Sue, is also involved with JAHM in a voluntary capacity.

Stuart Dorward

Stuart Dorward became a Trustee in 2014 and has a particular role in supporting the Museum’s financial planning and management. Now retired, his accountancy career has given him a wide range of experience in the public and voluntary sectors. Stuart fell in love with Jane Austen’s world 40 years ago and still find new joys and insights each time he re-reads a novel. He has to admit that his main literary enthusiasm is the poetry and novels of Thomas Hardy. Apart from enjoying literature, his main interests are music (as a concert-goer and novice pianist) and landscape photography. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Winchester with three semi-resident sons and two permanently resident cats.

Daisy Hamblin

Daisy Hamblin has been a trustee of Jane Austen’s House Museum since June 2014 but had prior to that been involved in assisting with the transfer of the museum from the Jane Austen Memorial Trust to the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

She qualified as a solicitor in 1986 having done a degree in French and English Law at King’s College London and the Sorbonne.  Following a career in London, as a partner of a medium sized firm specialising in construction law, and subsequently in Southampton she gave up the commute and is now a freelance French teacher.  She lives in Winchester with her family.

Miranda McKearny OBE

Miranda McKearney is a social entrepreneur inspired by the power of words to change lives. She founded national charity The Reading Agency in 2002 after 25 years of pioneering work on marketing literature and libraries.  The charity now reaches one million people a year with experiences turning them into readers for life.  She received an OBE in 2005 for services to education and libraries. Miranda has now embarked on a new portfolio life which involves spending much less time on the 7.48 to Waterloo. She is mentoring future leaders, supporting charities on innovation and going on Himalayan treks. She has a small new start up, www.empathylab.uk, which aims to build children’s empathy skills through words and stories.

Keiren Phelan

Keiren Phelan worked for several major London publishers before joining the Arts Council, specialising first in marketing and then in literature, becoming instrumental in establishing reader development in the public library network. He was a trustee with New Writing South for several years and is artistic co-director of Winchester Poetry Festival. He is the editor of the website Literary Winchester, a literary companion which celebrates writing inspired by or featuring the city, including Jane Austen of course.

Kathryn Sutherland

Kathryn Sutherland is Professor of Bibliography & Textual Criticism, University of Oxford, and Professorial Fellow in English, St Anne’s College, Oxford.  Her publications include several studies of Jane Austen: Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood (2005); Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: A Digital Edition (2010) www.janeausten.ac.uk ; and editions of Mansfield Park, James Edward Austen-Leigh’s A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections, and a forthcoming edition of Austen’s teenage writings.