We aim to promote the work of the writer Frances Burney (1752-1840) her family and wider circle. We are a literary Society based in the UK but membership is open to anyone with an interest in the Burney family and their work. Members receive quarterly newsletters, back editions of which are available via the menu above. We have a close connection to the North American Burney Society and the Burney Centre at McGill University, Montreal. Our members also receive their Burney Letter and Burney Journal.


Extraordinary General Meeting
14 June 2021

14 June 2021 at 17:30 (BST) via Zoom

This short meeting has been necessitated by the need to make new banking arrangements following the resignation of our Treasurer. We would like to take this opportunity to make minor changes to the Constitution which will hopefully simplify these arrangements in the future. To do this we need to hold a General Meeting to allow members to vote on the proposed changes. We would be very grateful for your support. As you will see below this Meeting will be followed by a lecture by Prof Saggini. 



  1. Proposal to alter Point 4 of the Constitution (revised 2020) under ‘Money and property’ which presently states ‘4. Money must be held in the Society’s bank account’ to include a statement that Burney Society Bank account signatories should be the Society Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
  2. Proposal to remove Dr. Deborah Jones  from the Society Bank account.
  3. Proposal to add current Secretary, Trudie Messent, as a signatory on the Burney Society UK bank account.
  4. Proposal to add the incoming Treasurer, or Acting Treasurer, as a signatory on the Burney Society UK bank account.
  5. Proposal to use Society funds for a Burney Society UK Zoom account to facilitate online meetings.


Burney Society UK Lecture by Prof Francesca Saggini

‘Frances Burney: Building Air’

14 June 2021, 18:00 – 19:00 (BST) via Zoom

We are pleased to celebrate Frances Burney’s birthday with a lecture by committee member Prof Francesca Saggini. A Zoom invitation will be sent to all members on 13 June 2021. Any non-members who wish to attend this lecture should email ukburneysociety@gmail.com


2021- 2022 Burney Society UK Research Bursary

We are pleased to announce our 2021 – 2022 Research Bursary of £300 plus Burney Society UK Membership 2021-2022. The application deadline is 30th April 2021. The winner will be announced in June 2021 and the successful candidate will be expected to complete their research by mid-September and present their research paper at the AGM in late September 2022. For further details and downloadable application form please see Bursary page of this website. 



Adventurous Wives Conference hosted by Chawton House 

14-15 May 2021

Members may be interested in this free two-day online Conference. Burney Society UK Committee member involvement includes Alison Daniell as co-organizer, Sophie Coulombeau as a member of the round-table discussion and a paper by Trudie Messent.

Registration is now open and can be accessed here: https://chawton-house.arttickets.org.uk/chawton-house/2021-05-14-adventurous-wives-or-virtue-reconsidered

It will only allow you to book for Friday 14th when selecting, but the ticket is for the whole conference.

To download the most up-to-date programme, please visit: https://chawtonhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Adventurous-Wives-Final-Programme.pdf


The Burney Society (North America) Virtual Zoom Conference:

Re-reading, Re-viewing, and Re-assessing the Burneys 5-7 July 2021

Over three days, with between three and four hours each day of Zoom-time, the Burney Society will be offering an exciting program of talks on Frances Burney and the Burney Family. Francesca Saggini (Edinburgh) will present a talk, “‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant’: Reading Frances Burney Against the Grain,” our Founder Paula Stepankowsky will review the history and accomplishments of our Society, and thirteen Burney scholars, both established and emerging, will share new insights on panels titled “Re-assessing Frances Burney and Burney Criticism,” “Other Burneys,” “Charles Burney and Music,” and “Re-viewing Burneys through New Lenses.”

Registration for Burney Society UK Members: Conference registration $10 via PayPal.

They are asking all interested members to register in advance before June 30th by paying $10 USD. As usual, all attendees must be members of either the Burney Society of North American or the Burney Society UK. Please use the North American Society Membership link below, although Burney Society UK members only need to complete their personal details and pay the $10 Conference fee, as their UK membership is valid for this conference.  For the membership form which includes Conference registration please use the link below:

burney_membership_form_3-21_fillable_2.pdf (mcgill.ca)

The Zoom invitation will be sent to the webmail address that you use.

Non- Burney Society members who wish to attend this conference may join either Burney Society

Burney Society (North America)  https://www.mcgill.ca/burneycentre/burney-society/membership

Or Burney Society (UK)  https://burneysociety.uk/membership

Please address any questions about the conference to burneysocietynorthamerica@gmail.com  

The conference schedule is available on the Conferences page of this website. 


Burney Society UK 2022 Conference

This is planned for Saturday 11th  to Tuesday 14th June 2022 in London, to correspond with the twentieth anniversary of the unveiling of the stained-glass window to commemorate Frances Burney in Westminster Abbey.  Delegates who arrive in London on Friday 10th June may wish to join us for an informal dinner prior to the conference. On Monday 13 June we will visit Westminster Abbey for a commemoration of the Frances Burney window and Evensong, for those who wish to remain. We also plan to visit the library of St Bride’s Foundation, which houses the important catalogue listing which Simon Macdonald used to confirm Elizabeth Meeke as a Burney.

We hope to arrange two separate additional visits in the week following the conference as optional extras which may be of interest to Burney members, such as to Chawton House, and to the Weymouth area to trace Frances Burney’s 1789 journey as attendant to Queen Charlotte.  Details will be made available closer to the date. 

It would be extremely helpful for our planning process if people interested in this conference would email us with a no commitment statement of possible attendance, including whether you require London accommodation, via ukburneysociety@gmail.com


Background to proposed UK Society 2021 trip:

St. Paul’s Church, Deptford is where Charles Burney Jn. (1757 – 1817) was rector and is buried. This will be a free event and all members and guests are welcome. The proposed itinerary for this postponed event will include a talk on Charles Burney Jn. by Sophie Coulombeau, an organ recital featuring music composed by Dr. Charles Burney and a tour of this Grade I listed Church by the pastor, Fr. Paul Butler. This will be followed by a light tea in the crypt.  There is no charge but donations to the church are welcome. Date will be advised when available. 


Previous Burney related events: 

29th April 2021. Dr Cassie Ulph gave a talk  (which is currently still available via Streatham Society YouTube)  ‘Remembering Hester Thrale Piozzi, 200 years’. Organised by the Streatham Society.   (May only be for those who enrolled – but you could try)  

The death of Hester Piozzi on 2 May 1821 marked the end of an era, with the loss of an intellectual and social force associated with some of the most famous names in literary London. During her years as Mrs Thrale, mistress of Streatham Park, she had hosted some of the most feted writers of her day, including Samuel Johnson and Frances Burney. As Mrs Piozzi, she embraced a new career as a writer of travel memoirs, biography, history, and more. This talk marks the bicentenary of her death by exploring the fascinating life of the woman known to many as ‘Dr Johnson’s Mrs Thrale’. As Mrs Piozzi, she often looked back on her Streatham years which represented both a period of great intellectual activity but also the restrictions of her first marriage to the brewer Henry Thrale. This talk will focus particularly on how the ‘Mrs Thrale’ we remember today was shaped by those crucial years at Streatham, and how Hester Piozzi herself would remember and retell her Streatham years in her later writing. It will also briefly touch on some of the projects taking place in Piozzi studies today, as renewed interest in her literary work sees her finally stepping out of the shadow of her illustrious guests.’


Livestream Reading of Frances Burney’s The Woman Hater  was held on Monday 25 January 2021 at 7.30pm EDT (New York) (0.30 am Tuesday 26 January in UK)  

Reviewed by Miriam Al Jamil in our Spring 2021 Newsletter. 

There was also an interactive discussion of the play and its themes with director, Everett Quinton, scholar Tara K. Menon, and members of the company. 


2020 Burney Society UK AGM was held online via Zoom on 3rd October 2020 at 14:00 UK time. AGM Draft Minutes and the Amended Constitution are available on the Annual General Meeting page.

Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre gave an excellent talk after the AGM. Sian has kindly allowed us to upload the text of the talk, in addition to the Studio script of her play ‘When Fanny met Germaine’ on our AGM page. 


23 November 2019 Professor Francesca Saggini Talk ‘Below and Beyond. On Re-Reading Burney’s Biographies’. Women’s Sudies Group 1558- 1837 Seminar Series at The Foundling Museum.


5 November 2019 Dr Deborah Jones Talk ‘The Brilliant Burneys’ For an online interview related to this talk please see link: https://www.yourvalleynews.co.uk/featured/the-brilliant-burneys-stars-of-the-18th-century/


13th October 2019 Professor Jocelyn Harris: ‘Satire, Celebrity and Politics in Jane Austen’ at Chawton House, sponsored by The Burney Society UK 


30 July – 1 August 2019 Conference of the Burney Society (UK) Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, organised by Dr. Cassie Ulph. See Conference page. 

29 July 2019 AGM held after conference See AGM page