Keynote Speakers

Janet Todd: President, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge

Janet President
Professor Janet Todd is an internationally-renowned scholar of early women writers and the author of many critical works on subjects ranging from working-class poets, hymn writers and Restoration tricksters to Rousseau, the Marquis de Sade and gothic cinema. Professor Todd has written four biographies, one concerning Aphra Behn, a celebrated author in the reign of Charles II, and three linked ones on the early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, her daughters, and her aristocratic Irish pupil.

Janet Todd is also the General Editor of the 9-volume Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen. This first modern, fully annotated edition of the works of Jane Austen published complete in nine volumes. Six volumes on the published novels – Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion – are accompanied by two devoted to Austen’s manuscripts, her brilliant juvenile writing, and the unpublished work of her adulthood. Each is edited by leading Austen scholars, and includes comprehensive information on the circumstances of the creation and publication of the work concerned, and its critical reception, together with textual and explanatory notes. To complete the set Jane Austen in Context offers a wide range of essays illuminating Austen’s life, work and times. Together these volumes complete the picture – as far as we now have it – of the work of one of the greatest, as well as best-loved, British novelists.

Most recently Janet Todd has been working critically on Jane Austen, both as an author and as a global phenomenon, first in The Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen, then in Jane Austen, Her Life, Her Times, Her Novels. 2013 was the bicentenary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice; to celebrate the event, Janet Todd organised an international conference at Lucy Cavendish College and edited The Cambridge Companion to Pride and Prejudice. In the same year she wrote a Jane Austen spin-off: Lady Susan Plays the Game.

Janet Todd has taught in Africa, the US and Puerto Rico as well as England and Scotland. At the University of East Anglia, together with Lorna Sage, she began the MA in Life-writing. She is now an emerita professor at the University of Aberdeen.

Karen Hunt: Professor of Modern British History at Keele University 


Professor Hunt has published widely on the gendering of politics, including Equivocal Feminists: the Social Democratic Federation and the Woman Question (1996), based on her prize-winning PhD, and Socialist Women: Britain 1880s to 1920s (2002), with June Hannam. Her most recent work is on women’s activism around the politics of food in First World War Britain, on political tourism and on transnational networks of radicals across the British Empire. Many of these interests have emerged from her biographical work on Dora Montefiore. Fascination with Montefiore has prompted journeys into many historiographies (suffrage history, communist history, and the role of scandal in politics) as well as physical journeys following in Montefiore’s footsteps in Australia, South Africa, and Scandinavia.

Over many years she has worked to promote women’s history: locally through Manchester Women’s History Group; nationally through the Women’s History Network; and internationally as a board member of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History.


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