Julia King (LPL): Syon Abbey and cultures of women’s reading

23 October 2024
Free to all

Join us for this curator's lecture exploring the themes and ideas presented in our exhibition 'Her Booke'.

Syon Abbey was England’s first and only Birgittine abbey, founded by Henry V in 1415. By the time of the Dissolution, it had become one of the richest monastic houses in England. The Abbey was a double house of men and women, but the women’s community was far larger and, during its existence, the Abbey was headed exclusively by Abbesses.

The Birgittine order followed by the inhabitants of Syon Abbey forbade any material possessions other than books. Under the guidance of its several abbesses, this exception led to the development of one of the largest libraries in England, and a community where reading and piety were intertwined throughout daily life. In her lecture, Julia King will comment on the cultures of women’s reading and writing that flourished at the Abbey, using evidence from books in Lambeth Palace Library’s collections.

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Visitor information


Lambeth Palace Library

15 Lambeth Palace Road, London, Greater London, SE1 7JT
020 7898 1400

Free to all

Opening times

Library exhibitions open free to the general public: Mon – Fri, 10am – 5pm. Reading room open to pre-booked readers: Mon, Weds, Fri, 10am – 5pm, Tues, 11am – 5pm, Thu, 10am – 7.15pm

From 4 March 2023, we will be open one Saturday a month - check our website for the dates. 

Visitor information

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

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