Burney Society AGM and ‘The Politics of Debt in Burney’s Camilla’ by Dr. Jeni Buckley

The Burney Society held its AGM on 1st October at the University of Notre Dame in London.  Following conclusion of business Dr Jeni Buckley gave a talk entitled “The Politics of Debt in Frances Burney’s Camilla”, based on her research at Chawton House Library as the first recipient of the Hester Davenport Memorial Fellowship.

Please see below for minutes from the meeting, the Chairman’s report, and the text of Jeni’s talk.




Annual General Meeting, Saturday 1st October (University of Notre Dame)

AGM on Saturday 1st October, 2 p.m.

The AGM, now restored to the first Saturday in October, will again be held at the University of Notre Dame, 1 Suffolk Street, London WC1. The speaker will be Dr Jeni Buckley, the first scholar to be awarded the Hester Davenport Memorial Fellowship at Chawton House Library in September 2015.  Jeni is developing her research on Burney into a book, and the title of her talk will be ‘The Politics of Debt in Frances Burney’s Camilla’.  Tea and cakes will be served after the AGM and the talk. Members, guests and visitors are welcome to attend. We are also looking for more people to join the committee, in a variety of roles. If you are interested in getting involved, please drop Sophie Coulombeau an email (coulombeaus@cardiff.ac.uk)

Unveiling of plaques at St Swithin’s on 11 June 2016.



24 members and friends of the Burney Society assembled at St Swithin’s on the 11th June 2016 to see the unveiling of the new plaque to Sarah Harriet Burney. Linda Bree, the current Chair of the Society, opened the proceedings and Tony Davenport, accompanied by his daughter Imogen, unveiled the plaque. A special plaque in memory of Hester Davenport, as a tribute to all her work for the Society, was also unveiled.  Lorna Clark then spoke about Sarah Harriet Burney and her life, and the story of how she had come across the picture of the missing plaque.

Popular Entertainments: Final Programme


The final programme for ‘Popular Entertainments’ is as follows:

Monday 4 July

9.00-9.30 Registration; Welcome.

Panel 1: 9.30-11.15

  1. Eva LIPPOLD (Loughborough University). “Most women have no character at all”: The Witlings and the Representation of Intellectual Women on Stage
  2. Anna Paluchowska-Messing (Jagiellonian University, Krakow). The Two Belles. On Frances Burney and Hannah Cowley
  3. Mascha HANSEN (University of Greifswald). Public Entertainment, Private Inspiration: Frances Burney and William Shakespeare
  4. Michelle JACOBSON (University of Michigan). Evelina as Playwright

11.15-11.30 Coffee break

Panel 2: 11.30-13.00pm

  1. Marie EGAN (Mater Dei Institute of Education, DCU). Unmasking Masquerades: Appearance and Reality in Cecilia
  2. Louise BRAY (University of Bristol). Masqueraders and Mentors: The Use of Amusements in Frances ‘Fanny’ Burney’s Cecilia and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’s The Sylph
  3. Kelly FLEMING (University of Virginia). The Agonies of the Accessory in Frances Burney’s Cecilia

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Panel 3: 14.00-15.30

  1. Ashley L. COHEN (Georgetown University). The “Black-hole” in Ranelagh? Evelina, Popular Entertainments, and Empire
  2. Anna DONOVAN (University of Limerick), “Surely you can have no doubts of my honour?” – Public Spaces as sites of violation in Evelina and Camilla
  3. Anne-Claire MICHOUX (University of Neuchâtel). ‘On the rack to give entertainment to others’: the dark side of the business of pleasure

16.00- Rehearsed reading from Love and Fashion

17.00-18.30 – drinks reception


Tuesday 5 July

Panel 4: 9-10.45

  1. Lorna CLARK (Carleton University). Burney Family Juvenilia: a Culture of Performance
  2. Stephen A. WILLIER (Boyer College of Music, Temple University, Philadelphia). Fanny Burney and the Castrato
  3. Nicola PRITCHARD-PINK (Independent Scholar). The experience of domestic singing for the gentleman’s daughter, 1770-1830
  4. Simone LAGHI (University of Cardiff). The domestic music entertainment in Late-Georgian England: the String Quartet as an Allegory of the Society

10.45-11 Coffee break

Panel 5: 11.00-12.00

  1. Sophie COULOMBEAU (University of Cardiff). ‘Evelina is in Aberdeen’: Charles Burney Jr. in Scotland, 1778-1781
  2. Elaine BANDER (Dawson College, Montreal and The Burney Society, North America). “The Astronomical Muse”: Dr. Burney and Astronomy

12.00-13.00 Plenary: Professor Harriet Guest (University of York)

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Panel 6: 14.00-15.15

  1. Beth KOWALESKI WALLACE (Boston College). “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve”: Performative Anxiety in Camilla
  2. Barbara WITUKI (Utica College, NY). The Noble Virgin and Burney’s Eugenia

6.30 PM: Conference Dinner (optional) including talk by Karin Fernald. Fanny Burney and The Witlings.


Wednesday 6 July

9.00- 15.00 Outing to Gibside Pleasure Garden – transport provided (optional; coaches return to Durham Station by 3pm)



Deadline approaching for registration for Burney Society Conference

Please note that the deadline is approaching for registering for our annual conference, ‘Burney and Popular Entertainments: the business of pleasure in Late-Georgian Britain’ (4-6 July 2016, St Chad’s College, Durham). Please see the ‘Conference Information’ post for all information about the conference.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Durham Student Theatre will no longer be able to stage a performance of ‘Love and Fashion’, as had been planned. However, the performance will be replaced with a rehearsed reading. We apologise for any disappointment caused.

Plaque ceremony for Sarah Harriet Burney, 11 June 2016

On 11 June 2016, in celebration of Frances Burney’s birthday on 13 June, the Burney Society (UK) will unveil the restored stone memorial to Sarah Harriet (also known as Sarah Harriotte) Burney, Frances’s novelist half-sister. The stone memorials to Frances and Sarah Harriet, originally installed side-by-side in St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath, were removed and lost during the installation of a church organ in the early 20th Century.

The Society commissioned Bath stonemason Tony Brown to reproduce the memorials using traditional methods and restore them to their original place. The memorial to Frances was restored in 2013 through the generosity of members of the Burney Societies of the United Kingdom and North America, and fundraising continued for the restoration of the memorial to Sarah Harriet. During this time Dr Lorna Clark (Carleton University) discovered a photograph of the original, allowing the precise wording to be reproduced.

We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the fund for their generosity, and for their patience throughout the restoration process, and we are delighted to be able to invite members of both societies and the public to join us for the formal unveiling of the memorial to Sarah Harriet Burney, which restores the Burney Family memorial to completion. Before the plaque is unveiled, Lorna Clark will give a brief talk about her research on Sarah Harriet and her discovery of the original wording.

The restored plaques will be dedicated to the memory of Hester Davenport, historian, biographer, and Chairperson of the Burney Society (UK) from 2010 to 2013.

Please arrive at St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath from 1.30pm for a 2pm start. Tea and cake can be purchased from the café after the ceremony.

Directions to the church are available here: http://www.stswithinswalcot.org.uk/visit-us/

Photo credit: Tony Brown

Conference Information

‘Burney and Popular Entertainments: the business of pleasure in Late-Georgian Britain’

4-6 July 2016

St Chad’s College, Durham

Frances Burney grew up at the centre of a vibrant metropolitan cultural scene, and was part of a network of musicians, writers, actors and artists whose careers depended on a culture of consumption, both imaginative and material. This was the world she evoked in her novels, plays and journals and this conference builds on the movement in Burney scholarship toward greater contextualisation of her work.

The conference centres around entertainment, with the conference programme itself featuring a range of entertainments, including an excursion to a site of local interest, Gibside House, and a rehearsed reading of Burney’s play Love and Fashion. The conference’s keynote address will be delivered by Harriet Guest, Professor Emerita of Eighteenth-Century Literature at the University of York.

A provisional conference programme can be found here.

Queries can be directed to the conference organisers, Professor Francesca Saggini and Dr Cassie Ulph, via cassie.ulph@bishopg.ac.uk

Registration for the conference is now available through EventDurham! Please click here to register

Details of prices, transport and accommodation details are below for information.


Registration includes admission to the conference on Monday and Tuesday; tea, coffee and lunch on Monday and Tuesday; admission to the performance of Love and Fashion by Durham Student Theatre and a wine reception and Q&A with the cast on Monday evening. Registration will be charged at £85 (£60 for registered postgraduate students).


There are a limited number of rooms available in St Chad’s college on a first-come, first-served basis, and these are bookable at point of registration. These rooms are available to delegates attending the whole conference, arriving on Sunday evening and checking out on Wednesday morning. We have secured a special accommodation rate for the conference. There are two options available:

  • 3 nights B&B en suite single: £105 – NOW FULL
  • 3 nights B&B en suite double: £150

Delegates wishing to stay in college for an additional night either before or after the conference (at the college’s standard B&B rates) can arrange this separately with Liz Pearson, conference manager at St Chad’s college.

N.B.: Please only make direct bookings with St Chad’s for any additional nights outside the conference dates, not for the nights of the conference itself. In order to take advantage of the conference rates at St Chad’s on the nights of 3, 4 and 5 July you need to book your room for these dates through the registration site as normal.

Residents should contact Liz to arrange parking if required.

tel: 0191 334 3358

email: chads.commercial@durham.ac.uk

More details of the accommodation available at St Chad’s can be found here:


There are a number of alternative accommodation options in Durham, of which a selection is listed below.

Conference Dinner:

This will be held in the dining hall at St Chad’s college. There will be a three course set menu, including wine and coffee, and entertainment in the form of a reading by the society’s own Karin Fernald on Burney and the Witlings. The cost of this will be £35, bookable at point of registration.

Conference Outing:

This additional outing will take place on Wednesday 6 July, and delegates are warmly encouraged to join us for a trip to Gibside House and 18th Century Pleasure Ground (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside) and a tailored tour, ‘Intrigue and Strife’, focussing on 18th Century history of Gibside and the scandalous life of Lady Mary Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.  The cost is £19, or £12 for existing National Trust members, which includes transport to and from the site and the cost of the tour. For non-National Trust members this also includes entry to the site.  Lunch is not provided, but there are café facilities on site.  The coach will depart from St Chad’s College in the morning and return via Durham Train Station for 3pm.  Again, booking for the outing is available at point of registration.

For specific queries about the outing to Gibside please contact the outing organiser, Miriam al Jamil via burneysocietyuk@gmail.com


Location and Transport

St. Chad’s College is one of the oldest and smallest colleges in Durham. Situated within a stone’s throw from Durham Cathedral – a World Heritage Site – St. Chad’s occupies a row of Georgian town houses along the North Bailey. It is situated in the shadow of the Cathedral’s east end to the front, and to the rear it overlooks the River Wear.

Durham is a world heritage site, a small but vibrant city with stunning views, incredible architecture and a lively cultural scene. The city is well-positioned for access to the stunning natural scenery of the North East of England. Further information about getting out and about in the City and beyond can be found here:


Arriving by car:

There is limited parking available for resident delegates at the College’s Trinity Hall site. This is by arrangement with the conference manager. Driving directions are available here: http://www.stchads.ac.uk/find-us/


Durham is well-connected by rail, with direct routes including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Penzance, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, and York. Indicative journey times for some of these are below. Detailed timetable and booking information is available at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

London: 2-3 hours

Bristol: 4hr 40 min

Birmingham: 3 hours

Edinburgh: 1hr 30 min

Manchester: 2hr 20

York: 45 Min

St Chad’s is a 15-20 minute walk or short taxi ride from Durham Station. Please be aware that Durham is hilly and some of the walk from the station to the college is uphill.


Durham is served by express coaches from London and elsewhere. Full details and booking are available at http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx


County Durham is easily accessible from Newcastle and Teesside Airports, both served by regular domestic and international flights. Newcastle airport is linked to Durham by rail and Metro.


Accommodation in Durham

In addition to accommodation available at St Chad’s, there are a range of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options available in and around the city. Some are listed below, but this is by no means exhaustive.   Cheaper rates than those published are often available through booking sites such as TripAdvisor, LateRooms and Booking.com. AirBnB also features some listings in Durham.  Times given are on foot unless specified.


Durham Marriott City Centre – 7 min from St Chad’s. Published rates from £161

Raddison Blu  – 15 min from St Chad’s. Published rates from £85

Premier Inn Durham City Centre – 9 min from St Chad’s. Published rates from £56

Premier Inn Durham East – 2 miles/short taxi ride from City Centre. Published rates from £39


The Victoria Inn – 5 min from St Chad’s. Single en-suites from £60

The Kingslodge Inn – 16 min from St Chad’s. Contact for room rates


College of St Hild and St Bede – 15 min from St Chad’s. Singles from £40 per night

University B&B accommodation is also available to book through Event Durham at various locations, although not all of these are as central as St Chad’s:



Self-catering holiday cottages (as well as B&Bs and Hotels) in and around Durham can be found at the Durham Tourism website: http://www.thisisdurham.com/accommodation