Sanditon bicentenary conference

‘Sanditon: 200 Years’ is a conference to mark the bicentenary of the composition of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, in a year that also marks the bicentenary of Austen’s death. Austen began to write Sanditon in January of 1817. The manuscript closes with the date of March 18. Austen died four months later on July 18.

The manuscript of Sanditon is held in King’s College, Cambridge. Jane Austen’s great-nephew Augustus Austen-Leigh was Provost of the College and married to Austen’s great-great niece Florence Emma Lefroy. Florence’s sister, Mary Isabella Lefroy, gave the manuscript to the College in 1930 in memory of ‘the most popular Provost, and Provostess “Kings” has ever had’.

The manuscript of Sanditon will be available for participants in the conference to view at King’s College, along with items from the Dorothy Warren and David Gilson Jane Austen collections, also held at King’s College. Alongside Sanditon, the manuscript of her niece Anna Lefroy’s continuation of the novel, which is in private ownership, will be on display for this exhibition only.

This conference will be devoted to discussing a diverse range of subjects relating to Jane Austen’s last work. Papers on thematic, historical, stylistic and biographical topics are invited. Particular attention will be given to the manuscript of Sanditon and Austen’s compositional processes, as well as to the reception and textual history of Sanditon in terms of editions, adaptations and continuations. See call for papers for more detailed information.

The conference will be held at Trinity College, Cambridge, with planned visits to King’s College and to Austen exhibitions at the University Library, Cambridge and the English Faculty, Cambridge.

Image: from Sanditon, with the permission of the Provost and fellows of King’s College, Cambridge

Supported by the English Faculty, Cambridge; Trinity College, Cambridge.