Notices and Events

Life of famous author to be celebrated at Cannon Hall Museum

Cannon Hall Museum will celebrate the life of world renowned English author Jane Austen as part of a series of literary talks in July.

An expert from the Northern Branch of the Jane Austen Society will lead two talks at the hall on Tuesday, 18 July –  200 years to the day since the author died.

Marilyn Joice will uncover Jane’s own romantic experiences and the situation of married and unmarried women during her lifetime, with a particular focus on women of the author’s social class.

The ‘Jane Austen and Marriage – Fact or Fiction’ talk will take place at 7pm inside the ballroom at Cannon Hall and includes a light supper.

In an earlier talk the same day at 3pm, Marilyn will also look at the characteristics of Emma Woodhouse and Fanny Price, two of the most diverse protagonists in Jane’s seven major novels. This event includes a Regency afternoon tea.

Both of the talks form part of the museum’s ‘Tales of the Wedding Dress – from Homemade to World Stage’ – exhibition, which features a selection of gowns worn by stars including Kiera Knightley and Meryl Streep.

The wedding dresses worn by Gwyneth Paltrow and Billy Piper, who portrayed Emma Woodhouse and Fanny Price in the screen adaptations of Jane’s novels, will also be on display.

Tickets for the two events are available at £35 each, or £60 for both with proceeds from the sale being split between both Barnsley Museums & Heritage Trust and The Jane Austen Society.

Alison Cooper, exhibitions officer at Barnsley Museums, said: “We’re really excited to welcome Marilyn and listen to her insight into the life of such an iconic author, 200 years after her death.

“Our superb ballroom is the perfect setting for guests to come and take a look around and find out more about one of the world’s most famous authors and where she drew her inspiration from.”

The series of literary talks will kick off with an event on Friday 7th July, led by author Catherine Curzon and focusing on the marriage of George IV. ‘The scandalous marriage of George IV’ will delve into the colourful private life of the English king, featuring everything from his illegitimate children, to scheming mistresses and a handsome Italian soldier.

The event, which is rated PG (recommended over 14s), takes place at 7pm and tickets are priced at £12.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We’ve been delighted with the popularity of the ‘Tales of the Wedding Dress’ exhibition at Cannon Hall, and these upcoming talks give people another great reason to visit the museum and immerse themselves in English history.”

To purchase tickets for any of the talks, please visit

The ‘Tales of the Wedding Dress – from Homemade to World Stage’ exhibition runs at Cannon Hall until Sunday 3rd September. For more details visit

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