‘Run mad as often as you choose’: A Foray into Jane Austen’s Teenage Writings

Join us for a lively introduction to Jane Austen’s short, funny and madly inventive teenage writings - stories and sketches in which she practiced the art of writing, and sowed the seeds of her later, great works.

Thursday 23 June
4:00pm — 5:00pm

Jane Austen’s teenage writings are relatively unknown, but full of interest, action and hilarity! Quite unlike her adult novels, these stories and sketches are short, funny, a bit wild and madly inventive.

Clearly designed to entertain her family and friends, they are full of girls behaving badly, speeding plots and cartoonish characters. A far cry from the decorous drawing room society we usually associate with Jane Austen, here we encounter girls who steal, fight, gamble, eat too much and get uproariously drunk.

In this lively talk, we’ll explore some of the wild escapades in Jane Austen’s extraordinary teenage stories, meet some outlandish characters, and examine how as a young girl, Jane Austen trained herself in the art of writing fiction – testing established literary forms and experimenting with what she could make work, and sowing the seeds of her later, great works in the process.


Date: Thursday 23 June

Time: 4pm – 5pm

Location: This event will take place at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton. Find us

Tickets: £7.50


🎫 Please note, this event ticket does not include House entry. If you wish to visit the House before or after the talk, please ensure that you book tickets separately.

💃 This event is part of Jane Austen Regency Week.