Saturday February 4, 2023
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST
Narratives of a Naval Wife: Fanny Palmer Austen in Fact and Jane Austen in Fiction
Zoom talk by Sheila Johnson Kindred
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2:00 pm EST Check in and news
2:15 Presentation followed by Q&A
When Fanny Palmer Austen married Jane Austen’s younger naval brother Charles in 1807, she was thrust into a demanding life within the world of the British Navy. This talk will provide a vividly personal account of what Fanny was able to share with Jane about her life as a naval wife, information which was arguably both contextual and catalytic for Austen’s creation of her fictional naval wives in “Persuasion.”
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, Ms. Kindred worked for forty years in the Philosophy Department of Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, teaching Critical Thinking and Bioethics. However, her interest in Philosophy never precluded a fascination with literature, in particular the novels of Jane Austen.
Sheila’s curiosity about Austen and her family took a new direction when she discovered Charles Austen’s naval history in Halifax, the love match between Charles and Fanny Palmer and their life together. Intrigued by Fanny Austen’s articulate and candid letters, written from Halifax and England, Sheila researched her extraordinary naval life with Charles Austen on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean during the later years of the Napoleonic Wars. The result is the award-winning, best-selling book, “Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of Fanny Palmer Austen” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017).
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