Conference Report: ‘Marilyn Butler and the War of Ideas’

By Matthew Sangster


Many thanks to Grace Harvey (University of Lincoln) for contributing to the BARS Blog the report below, detailing her experience of the warm and welcoming ‘Marilyn Butler and the War of Ideas’ conference held at Chawton a couple of weeks ago. Further details of the conference can be found on the Chawton House Library site and via the Chawton House Library Facebook group.

Marilyn Butler

‘Marilyn Butler and the War of Ideas: A Commemorative Conference’ was held on the 11th and 12th of December at Chawton House. Organised by Gillian Dow and Linda Bree, the two days featured unrivalled discussions and research that celebrated the life and work of Marilyn Butler.

The first day was opened by James Chandler (University of Chicago), whose keynote, ‘Edgeworth and Austen (and Butler)’, spoke warmly of his friendship with Butler and drew attention to the sheer extent of her career and influence. His consideration of slavery, money, and Butler’s discussions of Austen, Edgeworth and Smith, amongst others, effortlessly encapsulated the convivial and celebratory tone of the conference.

The first panel was an opening discussion that, like Chandler’s keynote, was peppered with personal remarks about Butler in addition …read more