International Women’s Day: Literary Letters

Join us as we step into the private worlds of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Somerville and Elizabeth Gaskell. **This event is now fully booked**

Tuesday 8 March
7:00pm — 9:00pm

Celebrate International Women’s Day through the private lives of three 19th century blockbuster women novelists and the ‘Queen of Science’ with live readings of their personal correspondence.

Join us as we step into the worlds of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Mary Somerville with fascinating insights into their lives, and readings from their remarkable letters.

Mary Somerville, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen

Women’s words have often been dismissed as mere ‘gossip’, whilst men’s have been fêted and admired. But women’s letters  can often reveal huge amounts about their writer’s lives and the boundaries that confined them, making them a fascinating portal into their private worlds. Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Mary Somerville are four such extraordinary women, whose lives we can explore through their private words.

Join us online for revealing, intriguing and intimate portraits of these four 19th century icons, who continue to inspire and enthuse women around the world today.

The event will be hosted by Lucinda Hawksley, author, art historian and great great great granddaughter of Charles Dickens.


Professor Kathryn Sutherland, Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism at the University of Oxford, and Trustee at Jane Austen’s House

Dr Kim Simpson, Deputy Director at Chawton House

Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Dr Diane Duffy, researcher at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

This event is produced in partnership with the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Chawton House and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

‘Sunshine of Love’ (1837). Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund


Date: Tuesday 8 March

Time: 7pm – 9pm GMT

Location: This event will take place online. Join us from the comfort of your own home!

Tickets: £10

This event is now fully booked. Please see our other upcoming events!

💻 This event will take place on Zoom. Please provide a valid email address, as you will be emailed a link to join the tour in the run up to the event. 

🎫 If you are joining as a group or household, please buy one ticket for each person attending.  All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum. 

⏰ Timings are given in UK time (Greenwich meantime) – please do check what the event time is in your territory, to ensure you log in at the right time. 

🎥 A recording of this event will be available to ticket holders for one month after the event.

🫖 This event is a little longer than usual, so it will include a short interval.