In her 1814 novel, ‘Mansfield Park’, Jane Austen’s offers a fictional account of how a conversation on slave-ownership was closed down through ‘dead silence’. Between 2019 and 2021 Dr Richard White hosted a series of non-fictional walks, ‘Botany, Empire and Deep Time’, traversing Sydney Gardens, Bath(UK) where Austen famously once walked. The commission from the Lottery funded Sydney Gardens project generated three walking guides, numerous public walks and a performance at the Bath Treeweekender in 2021. Following this talk on Saturday 11 March a ‘reprise’ walk is offered. In this presentation Richard will share some of the suppressed knowledges and unheard stories emerging from his work; he will discuss the reception of the walks in the context of the toppling of the Colston statue in Bristol and Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage status. Two hundred years after the publication of Mansfield Park, the presentation asks the question, how resilient is the ‘dead silence’ and why should we care?