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.


Burney Society UK 2022 Conference and AGM 

This is planned for Saturday 11th  to Monday 13th June 2022 to correspond with the twentieth anniversary of the unveiling of the stained-glass window to commemorate Frances Burney in Westminster Abbey. 

Call for Papers is now open. Deadline 1 March 2022. Feedback by 1 April 2022. 

We are pleased to announce a President’s Prize of £200 for the best paper from a post-graduate or early career speaker, to be awarded at the conference by Prof Peter Sabor. 

Please send completed proposal forms, available to download via either of the links below,  to Trudie Messent at ukburneysociety@gmail.com with subject line ‘Paper Proposal’. 

We invite proposals from Burney members and non-members but all speakers and delegates will need to join either the Burney Society UK or the Burney Society of North America prior to the conference. The official subscription year starts on 13 June but UK membership subscriptions from 1 January 2022 will be valid until 12 June 2023. Membership details at https://burneysociety.uk/membership 

Paper Proposal forms       PDF        Word

2022 Conference dates and locations

Saturday 11th June at  The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1 AZ

10:00 for 10:15 start: 2022 AGM – which is free to all, including light refreshments. Please pre-book for the AGM with Trudie Messent via ukburneysociety@gmail.com 

Break with light refreshments and opportunity to visit museum for free. Please note all areas may not be open to visitors due to another event.

12:00 – 13:00 (approximate timings) ‘Windows on the Burneys’ Conference opens with Keynote by Burney Society UK President, Prof Peter Sabor.

13:00 – 14:00 Light lunch and further opportunity to explore museum and Brunswick Square Gardens. 

14:00 – 17:00 Conference panels, including refreshment break.  

Those interested in the history and former residents of this area may enjoy Francesca Wade, Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between The Wars ( London: Faber & Faber, 2020)  This focusses on five women who resided in Mecklenburg Square, including Virginia Woolf. Mecklenburg Square was built in the early nineteenth century on land owned by the Foundling Hospital. 

Sunday 12th June, Jane Austen Suite, Alton House Hotel,  57 Normandy St., Alton, Hampshire GU34 1DW 

Location: This hotel is within 1 minute walk of Alton mainline station, with a direct train service from London, Waterloo. It also has a large car park which is free to delegates and guests. Dedicated entrance to Jane Austen Suite is to the rear but you will need to log your car Reg number in at reception. 

10:00 – 10:15 Light refreshments 

10:15 – 13:15 Conference panels.

13:15 – 14:15  Conference lunch – included for delegates. Non- delegates are very welcome to join us (Lunch cost approx. £25)  

14:15 – 15:00 Optional walk along the Alton section of Jane Austen Trail towards Chawton House. We plan to organise lifts to Chawton House, either from the hotel, or from the Chawton side of the A31 pedestrian underpass. 

15:00 – 15:30 Unveiling of bench dedicated to Frances Burney in gardens of Chawton House. Please note that Chawton House charges entrance fees to both house and garden.  We have arranged for a ‘self guided’ house tour but places need to be pre-booked, which can be done by contacting Trudie Messent via ukburneysociety@gmail.com. I am currently negotiating fees with Chawton House and have been quoted £12.50 pp. for a house tour.

Monday 13 June 2022 at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ 

St Bride Foundation houses the important catalogue listing with Simon Macdonald used to confirm Elizabeth Meeke as a Burney. 

10:00 – 13:00 Conference Panels and presentation of President’s Award.

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch and depart St Bride Foundation

14:00 – 17:00 Optional visits eg. to St Bride Church

17:50 Evensong in Westminster Abbey followed by laying of wreath at window dedicated to Frances Burney in Poet’s corner. We hope to also be able to view the plaque dedicated to Dr Charles Burney and the bust of Charles Burney Jr. 

Places to attend the wreath laying may be very limited, depending on the current Covid-19  measures, so please book your place as soon as possible by contacting Trudie Messent via ukburneysociety@gmail.com 

A tour of Westminster Abbey is generally available at an additional charge. 


We hope the committee will be able to ratify the conference fees very soon. We anticipate these will be approximately £130 for all three conference sessions, to include lunches and refreshments. We appreciate that not everyone will be able to attend on all three days and plan to offer two day registrations for £100.  

Non-waged students will be offered a 50% reduction, for either two or three days. Students who can only attend on one day should contact the conference organiser, Trudie Messent, via ukburneysociety@gmail.com

Attendance at the Westminster Abbey wreath laying and the unveiling event at Chawton are free for members, although entrance fees to Westminster Abbey and Chawton House may incur additional charges. 

Post -conference visits 

Wednesday 15th June: Visit to Hammerwood House, West Sussex,  to include a concert, featuring a sonata by Charles Burney.   

Thursday 16th June: Weymouth, visited by Frances Burney in attendance to Queen Charlotte in 1789. This visit is celebrated in a volume assembled by Broadley, which we hope to be able to view in Dorchester. 

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


2021- 2022 Burney Society UK Research Bursary

We are pleased to announce our 2021 – 2022 Research Bursary of £300  has been awarded to Catherine Pocock, a PhD candidate at Sheffield University to assist her research on the publishing experience of Frances Burney. 


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