Elizabeth Knight (1674-1737) was a woman to be reckoned with. Through a combination of family deaths and alack of male relatives, she inherited a number of large estates in the south of England – including Chawton House. Wealthy, powerful and very much in the mould of Jane Austen’s great landowning female characters like Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs Ferrars, Knight made sure that she was in charge of her land, refusing to hand over control to either of her husbands in an age when wives had no legal or economic identity of their own.
This fun and illuminating talk will introduce you to a woman who actively exploited the changing social landscape of the early eighteenth century to her own advantage, knew how to manipulate the parliamentary electoral system two hundred years before the Suffragettes’ campaign gave women in the vote and may well have inspired England’s best-loved novelist, Jane Austen.
Tickets: £12, Friends: £10.
About the Speaker
Alison Daniell is a PhD researcher at Southampton University, working on the lived experiences of women under coverture during the long eighteenth century and how those experiences were re-imagined in female-authored fictions of the period. A former matrimonial lawyer and novelist, Alison is a writer, tutor and lecturer who currently teaches on the highly-successful ‘Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity’ MOOC run by Southampton University.
Tuesday 22 October 2019, from 6:30pm
£12 / £10 for Friends
More details are available from the website https://chawtonhouse.org/whats-on/elizabeth-knight-a-woman-to-be-reckoned-with/
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