Recreating the World of Jane Austen's Persuasion

Tue. Nov 29, 2022 at 6:30pm EST
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Recreating the World of Jane Austen's Persuasion

What if you could hold the most famous letter in literature in your hand?

Please join us for an evening of art and archives, as Barbara Heller discusses how she brought the world of Jane Austen’s Persuasion to life in her new edition of the novel. From references in the text, Heller painstakingly recreated maps, newspapers, and other documents, including the iconic letter written by Frederick Wentworth in “half agony, half hope” to protagonist Anne Elliot. She will be joined by Deborah Yaffe, author of Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, to reflect on how these new elements deepen the reading experience and the ways in which Austen lovers find connection with her novels.

To craft documents that were true to the material culture of Austen’s time and place, Heller extensively researched contemporary historical sources, including those held by The New York Public Library’s research divisions.  A selection of these — including Sir Walter’s favorite volume, an 1808 Debrett’s Baronetage; an 1813 Steel’s List of the Royal Navy; and a 19th century manuscript ship logbook — will be on display.

The Center for Research in the Humanities welcomes everyone to join the conversation between curators, librarians, and researchers, as they discuss new scholarship and projects, research methods, and the Library's rich collections and resources. Each of these conversations takes place in the Lenox and Astor Room, Room 216.

Assistive Listening and ASL
ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at NYPL programs and events. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.

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Lenox and Astor Room, room 216 The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018