Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice in an Irish Country House Fota House, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork
University College Cork and the Irish Heritage Trust, Sunday 23rd June to Friday 28th June 2013

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, UCC and the Irish Heritage Trust will offer a week-long summer school in one of Ireland Regency gems, Fota House in Co Cork. The school will draw on the scholarly expertise of the University to explore the society, style, culture, food and of course the literature of the Regency period. Internationally respected garden historian, Letta Jones, will also contribute to the programme, taking Fota’s renowned arboretum, pleasure gardens and frameyard as her backdrop.

As Ireland's most important Regency house ( with its very own D’Arcy in the form of the handsome John 'the Magnificent 'Smith Barry), Fota House is the ideal setting for exploring and experiencing a range of themes relating to the period.

Jane Austen would fit seamlessly into this world, where talks on Regency music, dancing and entertainment, the role of women above and below stairs, literature, art and architecture will be covered. As all devoted Austenites know, taking a turn around the pleasure grounds was a way to show off a flattering outfit, so Regency costume and jewellery will also feature in the programme as well as an exploration of garden design and history in the early 19th century. Field trips to Barryscourt Castle and a Regency cookery demonstration at Ballymaloe Cookery School are also part of the offering. We have also included an early 19th century harp recital and an evening of performances from Jane Austen’s much-loved novel. The school will begin and end with lavish meals in Fota Island Resort and Ballymaloe House. A mid-week opportunity to dine at Castlemartyr Hotel is also included in the programme.

For further information please contact Regina Sexton, UCC, at and tel. 021 4904700 or Jennifer McCrea, Irish Heritage Trust, at


Timetable of Events [lecture titles with tbc may be subject to change]

Sunday evening, 23rd June, 7-10pm
Welcome Reception at Fota Island Hotel, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.
Opening buffet dinner followed by a recital of early 19th century harp music with Fiachra Ó Corragáin, School of Music, University College Cork

Monday, 24th June - Fota House
9.15: Welcome to the summer school and an introduction to the week’s itinerary. Regina Sexton, Adult Continuing Education, University College Cork
9.30 - 11am: Ireland and the Regency: snapshots of history. Maeve O’ Riordan, School of History, University College Cork
11 – 11.15: Morning Break. Tea, coffee, Regency lemonade or chocolate
11.15 – 12.45: Embodied spaces: the art and architecture of the Irish Country House. James Cronin, Adult Continuing Education and School of History, University College Cork
12.45- 2.00: Lunch at Fota House
2- 3pm: How to make a Regency house relevant to a 21st century audience? (TBC). Kevin Baird, Irish Heritage Trust
3-5pm: Tour of Fota House. Jennifer McCrea, Irish Heritage Trust

Tuesday 25th June
Fota House
9.30 – 11: A history of the Regency garden and the delight of the landscape. Letta Jones, Garden Historian
11-11.15: Morning Break. Tea, coffee, Regency lemonade or chocolate
11.15 – 12.45: A Regency gem of international renown: the Fota House garden complex. Letta Jones, Garden Historian
12.45 – 2.00 Lunch at Fota House
2.00 – 4.30pm: Tour of Fota House pleasure gardens, arboretum, kitchen gardens, orchard and frameyard. Letta Jones, Garden Historian

Wednesday 26th June
Fota House

9.30 – 11: The Irish Country House and the novel. Dr Eibhear Walshe, School of English, University College Cork
11- 11.15: Morning Break. Tea, coffee, Regency lemonade or chocolate
11.15- 12.45: Memory, memoir and the House: Elizabeth Bowen. Dr Eibhear Walshe, School of English, University College Cork
12.45- 2: Lunch at Fota House
2 – 5 : ‘When he found her to prefer a plain dish to a ragout, [he] had nothing to say to her.’ The intricacies or otherwise of Regency food, cooking and dining. Regina Sexton, Adult Continuing Education, University College Cork
7pm: Dinner in the Garden Room, Castlemartyr Resort Co Cork

Thursday 27th June
9.15 - 10.00 The Grand Tour and the Regency Part 1: The eighteenth century and the lure of Italy
10.15 - 11.15 The Grand Tour and the Regency Part 2: Romanticism and nationalism in the nineteenth century, Dr Dagmar Ó Riain, School of History, University College Cork
11.15 – 11.30 Morning Break. Tea, coffee, Regency lemonade or chocolate
11.30 – 1.00 ‘For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours’. Regency music, dancing and entertainment. Dr Karol Mullaney Dignam, School of History, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch
2.00 -3.30: Regency marriage: for love or for money? Maeve O’Riordan, School of History, University College Cork
3.30-5.00: Frills and furbelows at Fota. The changing styles in costume in the early decades of the 19th century. Jennifer McCrea, Irish Heritage Trust

Friday 28th June
Field trip and cookery demonstration

Field Trip
The evolution of the Irish Grand House
Barryscourt Castle and Riverstown House

Cookery demonstration
‘Cooking the Regency’
A demonstration of Regency style cooking and dishes with Darina Allen
Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co Cork

Closing reception and gala dinner at Ballymaloe House, Co Cork followed by a duologue with Vanessa Hyde and Rachel O’Connell, Pride and Prejudice, chapter XIV, vol III

Saturday - Departure

Summer School Schedule Pride and Prejudice (1,456kB)

Non-residential rates & concession rates

Summer School Fees:
 Lectures, fieldtrips, tours, cookery demonstration, lunch, and three gala dinners and duologue/performance: €1,100
Concession - Non Residential (UCC staff, students, former students, alumni, over 55s and retired): €935.00

Full list of approved and recommended accommodation providers available on request: Please note that Fota Island Resort Hotel will operate a special accommodation rate for summer school participants.

The summer school will run only with a minimum of 20 participants. 

Download an application form Summer School Application Form (116kB)

or click the "apply now" button to register and pay online [concessionary rates are applied during the online process]

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