New Film Explores Blavatnik Honresfield Library

Friends of the National Libraries

Charlotte Brontë's little books

A new film about the Blavatnik Honresfield Library that was saved for the nation last year will be shown as part of a special event at the British Library in London.

The Blavatnik Honresfield Library is made up of a unique collection of manuscripts printed books, and letters by Robert Burns, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, and Sir Walter Scott and was put together at the end of the 19th century by William Law, a Rochdale mill owner from the north of England. Until it’s sale, it had been largely inaccessible to the public for nearly a century until a $20 million fundraising campaign by the Friends of the National Libraries consortium enabled the collection to be bought before going to auction.

The 1,400 books and items from the collection are being distributed to relevant institutions, largely outside London, such as The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire, Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire, and Abbotsford (Scott’s home in Melrose in the Scottish Borders).

At the event at 7pm on December 6, the new film - The Blavatnik Honresfield Library Revealed - will be screened revealing the contents and story of the Library and conversation with Lizzie Dunford from Jane Austen’s House, Ralph McLean from the National Library of Scotland, Kathryn Sutherland from the University of Oxford, and Rebecca Yorke from the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum. It will be chaired by academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari.

This event will be held at the British Library in central London and also simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets can be booked to attend in person or watch online, either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  The online version of this event will be live captioned.