Chawton House Library News ~ Sandy Lerner Honored with the OBE!

Very Exciting news just in! Sandy Lerner, the force behind the turning Chawton House, home to Jane Austen’s brother Edward Knight, into the Chawton House Library, has been awarded an Honorary OBE – “honorary” being the term for the OBE presented to a non-UK national [read here about the OBE, Order of the British Empire]. Here is the info on the event and celebration that took place yesterday at Chawton House!

Sandy Lerner copyright Pal Hansen from 2013

CHL Founder Awarded Honorary OBE
for Services to UK Culture

Award recognises importance of our unique Library of women’s writing

Today at Chawton House Library a very special event took place: our founder and Chairman, Dr Sandy Lerner, was awarded an Honorary OBE.

As a foreign national, the award of an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen recognises the significance of Dr Lerner’s cultural contribution to the UK in restoring the house an estate and establishing the Library. Although such awards are usually recognised at the British Embassy in the recipient’s country of residence, when Dr Lerner was first advised of the award over a year ago, she requested permission to delay announcing the honour and wait to be presented with the award at Chawton House Library itself.

Hampshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, presented the award to Dr Lerner in the Dining Room where Jane Austen would have dined with her brother, Edward. Dr Lerner, like many avid readers, loves the work of Jane Austen.

Read the rest here at the CHL website:

And here are two pictures from yesterday’s celebration:


Hampshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, with Sandy Lerner


CHL Board of Trustees Members Richard Knight (descended from Edward Austen Knight), Gilly Drummond, and Len Bosack with Sandy Lerner and Nigel Atkinson

[Images courtesy of Chawton House Library, with thanks.]

We were very fortunate at JASNA-Vermont to have had Sandy visit us for our December tea in 2012 – she spoke about her book Second Impressions, a sequel of sorts to Pride and Prejudice. Here she is signing her book for our member Thierry Guerlain:

Sandy Lerner and Thierry Guerlain

All our members here in Vermont send our hearty congratulations to Sandy! – a very much deserved award for all her efforts on behalf of Jane Austen and the many other women writers too long neglected. They all have a “home of their own” at last.


You can learn more about supporting the Chawton House Library by visiting their “Get Involved” page. You can:

c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

4 thoughts on “Chawton House Library News ~ Sandy Lerner Honored with the OBE!

  1. Such great news. Dr Lerner has been so generous a supporter of all things Jane! Thank you, Sandy ( or should we say Dame Sandy?)


  2. Dr Lerner is not a Dame.A Dame is equivalent to a Knighthood. The OBE is a lower order, the Order of The British Empire. The Beatles got OBE’s.. Politicians might get OBE’s for a life times work in politics.Business leaders, sports men and women and so forth might get OBE’s. They are given to people in all walks of life for their substantial contributions. Somebody has do something extra special to become a Dame or a Knight. The top level is a Lordship. or Ladyship. Top government ministers, scientists,, lawyers and so on, who have worked tirelessly in a specific aspect of British life might get a Lordship and end up in the House of Lords..


    • Are you meaning our December tea in 2012?? or the tea at CHL for Sandy – that was just the other day and you were already home. Not sure why you missed our tea – but Sandy was terrific!


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