Four women writers


International Women’s Day

1st March 2024
in Events, Literature, news

We’re going all out to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) this year with local, national and international events (either in person or online) to mark this special day. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.

Banner-Making Drop-In Workshop

Sunday 3 March, 1-3pm

Champion the achievements of women by joining our drop-in banner-making workshop with renowned textile artist Dr. Sarah-Joy Ford. In this special workshop you will be invited to make your own feminist textile banner inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s feminist legacy in Manchester.

We will be using heat bond applique, hand stitching and embellishment techniques and tassel making. All the materials will be provided, and you will be able to take your banner home with you. The banner will be made with a dowling rod, ready to be marched with or hung up in your home.

There is absolutely no previous experience necessary, and everyone (age 10+) is welcome! Included in admission to the House. Find out more via this link

Online Event: Women Writers – An International Conversation

Wednesday 6 March, 7-8.30pm

Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Emily Carr and L.M. Montgomery were women writers whose work and art reflected their time and sense of place. So how did they engage with the wider world? What were the international influences on their writing? How did cross-Atlantic themes impact their writing and do they still speak to us today?

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re looking at four cherished women writers, Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell from the UK and L.M. Montgomery and Emily Carr from Canada. These authors created some of the world’s best loved and heavily translated classics including Pride and PrejudiceNorth and SouthAnne of Green Gables and The Book of Small.

Share in this celebration of women writers, who continue to inspire both huge popular appeal and serious scholarly research across international lines. Online and featuring introductory talks and a panel in partnership with Carr HouseL.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI)Jane Austen’s House and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Tickets £5

Book via this link

Online Event: Female Friendship in Literary Lives – ‘Friendship is certainly the finest balm’

Thursday 7 March, 8-9.30pm

Join our four literary houses in an evening to celebrate female friendships to mark International Women’s Day. We’ll be looking at the influence these relationships had on the works and in the lives of some of Britain’s most loved writers. 

A partnership event with Jane Austen’s HouseBronte Parsonage Museum and Chawton House.

Jane Austen and Madame Lefroy – one of Jane Austen’s dearest friends was her Hampshire neighbour, Mrs Anne Lefroy. Although she was 26 years older than Jane and mother to six children, Mrs Lefroy and Jane shared many interests including writing, literature and poetry, which they discussed avidly. In this section we’ll get to know Mrs Lefroy, who was a fascinating figure in her own right – a published poet, society hostess, school mistress and nurse, she personally administered smallpox vaccines to her Hampshire neighbours every winter. After her tragic death in 1804, Jane Austen commemorated her ‘Beloved friend’ in a heartfelt poem, that we’ll also share. 

Miniature of Elizabeth Gaskell as a young woman

Elizabeth Gaskell and Tottie Fox – ‘we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own’
Elizabeth Gaskell found strong female friendship with the fabulously named Eliza ‘Tottie’ Fox. Tottie was an artist and educationalist who enjoyed Elizabeth’s intimate, funny letters and encouraged her to join early feminist campaigns. Dr Diane Duffy reveals the close friendship that supported Elizabeth through her many literary and personal challenges.

Three’s a charm’ – Charlotte Bronte, Mary and Ellen Charlotte’s most important and most enduring friendships were also her first – Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor, who she met at Roe Head School. In this section we’ll look at how important these friendships were, to both Charlotte’s life then and what we know about her life now. 

Mary Wollstonecraft and Amelia Opie in the Spring of 1796, 26-year old Amelia Alderson (later Opie) met feminist philosopher and writer Mary Wollstonecraft. In the year of their friendship, before Wollstonecraft’s life was tragically cut short after the birth of her second daughter, they exchanged letters – of which a few survive – and developed a close friendship, commenting on one another’s work, discussing events in Revolutionary France, and sharing information about mutual friends including the writers Mary Hays and Elizabeth Inchbald. In this section, we explore the relationship between these two extraordinary women, and the ways that Wollstonecraft’s ideas lived on in the work of Opie, who became a prolific novelist and activist later in life. 

Tickets £6

Book now via this link

A Large Cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke.

Charlotte Brontë on visiting the House, 1851