Women’s Library

‘Reading is a right, a privilege and a pleasure that women have had to fight for. The shared bookshelf reminds us that we still must.’ Margo Jefferson

Our Women’s Library is one of the few parts of Compton Verney to have survived intact from the nineteenth century. Created around 1860 by Georgiana Verney, who was mistress of Compton Verney and a champion of women’s reading, education and suffrage, today it is a space for discovery and reflection. In the spirit of Georgiana, each year we invite guest curators to choose a selection of books they have found inspirational or enjoyable to fill the shelves, all of which are available to buy in our shop.

This year’s curators are:

Fiona Stafford, professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford. Fiona is the presenter of two highly-acclaimed series for BBC Radio 3 titled The Meaning of Trees, and is the author of The Brief Life of Flowers (2018) and The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016).

Martha Kearney, journalist and broadcaster. Martha was the main presenter of BBC Radio 4’s lunchtime news programme The World at One for 11 years, and in April 2018 became a presenter of early morning Today programme.

Olivia Arthur, documentary photographer. Olivia has worked in India, Europe and Saudi Arabia. She is one of nine British photographers featured in our Magnum: Manifesto exhibition (Sat 12 Oct – Sun 15 Dec 2019).


View the Microsite

FREE for Members and Annual Pass holders

Access to the library is included in DAY TICKET admission

The Women’s Library is open Tuesday – Sunday and bank holidays, 11am – 5pm

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