Marilyn Joice, a semi-retired primary teacher, has been a life-member of the Jane Austen Society since 1975. She is currently serving her third term on the Society’s committee and is Chair of the Northern Branch, which she co-founded with five other Jane Austen enthusiasts in 1999. She was part of a small sub-committee that set up the Society’s Educational Outreach programme for which she has written several talks. She has given talks to a range of groups, from schools, University clubs and libraries to museums, literature festivals and local history societies.
Dr Ralph Harrington studied History at London University and the University of oxford, where he specialised in the cultural history of eighteenth-century England. He was Lecturer in History at the Univesity of York, and has also taught at Hull University, the Open University and the WEA. He has just completed a three-year project at the University of Leeds, researching the Georgian decorative plasterwork at Fairfax Houase in York, and is currently a consultant in the conservation and interpretation of historic buildings with a particular interest in eighteenth-century urban buildings.
Lucy Adlington is a dress historian with 20 years’ experience of lecturing and collecting. She runs the History Wardrobe company, a delightful series of costume-in-context presentations, which offer 100 shows across the Uk each year. Lucy, who read English at Cambridge, is the author of Great War fashion, fashion: Women in World War One; Stitches in time – The Story of the Clothes We Wear; Women’s Lives and Clothes in WW2: Ready for Action. She also writes history-inspired fiction, including the Carnegie-nominated The Red Ribbon, a novel inspired by the dressmakers of Auschwitz. She collects 19th- and 20th-century constume, and her ambition is to own an 18th-century gown of Spitalfields silk.
Dr Bill Hutchings is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures a the University of Manchester, where he was previously Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning. He has published on, among other authors, the eighteenth-century poets William Collins, William Cowper, Thomas Gray and James Thomson. His Living Poetry and Living Fiction were published in 2012 and 2014 respectively. He has also published and lectured extensively on the university-level teaching of literature. He has been speaking regularly at Jane Austen Society events for twenty years, and is now patron of the Northern Branch.
Dr Richard de Ritter is a lecturer in the School of English at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Imagining Women Readers 1789-1820, and has published on a range of Austen’s contemporaries, including Maria Edgeworth, Jane West and Elizabeth Hamilton. He is currently working on the children’s literature of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He also teaches an undergraduate module dedicated to the work of Jane Austen.