Deborah Jones is Secretary of the Burney Society UK and definitely a fan. The best known of the family, Frances (Fanny) Burney, was a writer of novels, plays and a revelatory diary in an age when women weren’t encouraged to write or publish. During the Revolutionary Wars with France she married a French exile and went to live for over a decade in Napoleon’s Empire. She survived the most drastic surgery despite the total absence of anaesthetics and antiseptics.
The rest of the family were no slouches either. We have perhaps forgotten that they were, as Deborah says, “Stars of the 18th Century.” In her illustrated talk at Gold Hill Museum at 2.30p.m. on Tuesday 05 November Dr Jones will argue that “One family dominated the cultural life of eighteenth-century England: music, writing, exploring, Court life – all were affected by the Burneys. Dr Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, and David Garrick were among close friends of the father, Dr Charles. Fans of one daughter, Fanny, included Jane Austen, George III and Napoleon.” Deborah will address the questions of who the Burneys were and how they achieved such celebrity.
“The Brilliant Burneys: Stars of the 18th Century” is free to members of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society while non-members may pay £3 at the door.
Also at Gold Hill Museum on Wednesday 30 October from 2 till 4p.m. Half Term Autumn Fun is promised for all ages. Activities include making your own fresh apple juice and spicy soap, plus crafts related to Hallowe’en. Entry is free though donations for materials are welcome. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.